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Air Europa and AirPlus to replace Iberia's Caribbean flights to Cuba and the Dominican Republic

The Spanish airline, Iberia, just announced it would cancel its long-haul routes to Santo Domingo and Havana starting next month. Taking advantage are Air Europa and AirPlus which both intend to take over these flights to Cuba and the Dominican Republic .

Air Europa and AirPlus to replace Iberia's Caribbean flights to Cuba and the Dominican Republic

As part of a restructuring plan looking to eliminate the most loss-making routes, the renowned Spanish airline, Iberia, recently announced it would cancel its long-haul flights to Santo Domingo and Havana starting 1st April. This measure, has caught the attention of Air Europa and AirPlus, fellow airlines that wish take over by increasing their services to these and several other Caribbean countries.

Just two weeks after Iberia pronounced their decision, Air Europa has stated it will add three new weekly round-trip flights between Madrid and the Cuban capital. The airline, which already operates flights from the Madrid-Barajas Airport to the Jose Marti International Airport, will increase their services to the island by adding new flights to Havana on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. Travellers heading to Cuba with Air Europa in this new route, will fly in an Airbus 330-200 with 299 passenger seats, including 24 seats in business class.

The Dominican Republic is also a top priority for Air Europa’s expansion plans. The airline has made an agreement with the Dominican government to double its connections to the country’s different airports, starting next month, when Iberia stops operating its usual routes to the Caribbean. As part of the arrangement, flights to Las Americas International Airport, in the capital, will be doubled from seven to 14 weekly frequencies and flights to Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic’s leading tourist destination, will increase from four to seven.

Air Europa is not alone in wanting to take advantage of Iberia’s withdrawal. The Caribbean and Latin America Tourist Journal website has noted AirPlus’ marked interest in also expanding its Caribbean connections, by publishing that the airline could already be operating flights to the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Argentina before summer begins.

According to the website, Julio Martinez, manager of AirPlus, has declared that the new services will begin only after the acquisition of a new plane from a Portuguese company. In order for the new project to succeed, the airline will start out using Airbus A-340, similar to the ones used by Iberia for Latin American flights, but hope to gradually replace them with A-330 airplanes. However, the A-340 planes won’t be ready for passengers until the upcoming month of May.

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