Spanish hotel company Iberostar is planning to launch its own long-haul airline. It will start with an Airbus A350.
In Spain, Air Europa is sorting out every fifth aircraft. Flag-carrier Iberia, in which the airline is to be integrated in future, is also reducing its fleet in the wake of the Corona crisis. Tourism group Iberostar apparently sees this situation as an opportunity.
The Palma-based company operates more than 120 hotels in 19 countries and has around 34,000 employees. Now, Iberostar also wants to launch its own airline. It will be called World 2 Fly and is set to launch with an Airbus A350.
Caribbean destinations in sight
Gabriel Subías, head of Iberostar subsidiary World 2 Meet, said in an interview with newspaper Diario de Mallorca that the Caribbean would be the initial target region. He specifically mentioned the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Cuba as planned destinations. He went on to say that the company has already secured a new Airbus A350 and is about to sign a deal for a second one. Further details were not provided. When building a new airline amid the current crisis, leasing seems much more realistic than buying the aircraft.
According to Subías, World 2 Fly should take off around March 2021, roughly in time for the start of the summer flight schedule. The project is fascinating because, according to forecasts, long-haul is expected to recover the slowest from the Coronavirus crisis. Other current airline start-ups such as Lübeck Air and Green Airlines in Germany or Linhas Aéreas Itapemirim in Brazil, who are not deterred by the crisis, are focusing on regional domestic routes.
Going long-haul against the trend
As a hotel group, Iberostar has the advantage of being able to sell complete travel packages including flights in its own jets and overnight stays in its own hotel. By setting up an airline, you make yourself more independent of airline partners. On the other hand, another tourism group, Tui, is looking for a new future for its airlines.