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January 30, 2018

Air Travel: New Flights to Guadalajara, USVI

New flights to Guadalajara and the USVI, plus what’s ahead for Iberia this year, lead this week’s air travel news affecting the meetings and events industry. 

Interjet Introduces Daily Nonstop Service Between Chicago and Guadalajara

Interjet Airlines has announced a new daily, nonstop service between Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and Guadalajara International Airport (GDL).

Interjet’s new service between Chicago and Guadalajara will start February 16 and operate using Airbus A320 aircraft seating 150 passengers. Round trip promotional fares from Chicago to Guadalajara will start at $228, taxes included. This special fare with be available until April 17, 2018, and valid for trips through April 30, 2018. Promotional fares are not available to groups nor can they be used with other promotional fares.

Three Airlines to Increase Service to the U.S. Virgin Islands

Beverly Nicholson-Doty, commissioner of tourism for the U.S. Virgin Islands, has announced that three major air carriers will soon be increasing service to the destination. 

Following meetings with airline partners over the past few months, Spirit Airlines will increase its Fort Lauderdale-St. Thomas frequency to daily, effective Saturday, March 10, said Nicholson-Doty.

Due to strong bookings on the Atlanta-St. Thomas route, Delta will reinstate its daily service from New York to St. Thomas, effective May 24.

JetBlue Airways will operate a second daily flight from to San Juan to St. Thomas from February 15. The airline will provide daily options for travelers between Boston and St. Thomas (between February 15 to May 1) over San Juan.

Iberia Announces New Developments for 2018

Finally, Iberia has announced more advanced aircraft, new destinations, and growth in traffic is coming in 2018. The airline presented its new developments for this year at the annual FITUR travel trade fair in Madrid, including its first Airbus A350/900, which will join the fleet in June.

Iberia will become the first airline to fly the upgraded version of the A350/900. According to Iberia, the new aircraft has enhanced aerodynamics, reinforced landing gear, and the latest cockpit technology, integrating all systems with the operating infrastructure and more advanced transfer of information from the aircraft. The A350/900s are powered by Rolls Royce Trent XWB-84 engines, which allow fuel consumption about 30 percent lower than the A340-600.

The new year will also see Iberia launch nonstop flights from Madrid to San Francisco and to Managua. San Francisco fights will be seasonal, starting on April 25 and ending on September 28, with departures on Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays. Flights to Managua will operate on the same week days, and will begin on October 1.

Iberia also expects to see growth in traffic on several of its long-haul routes –to Japan, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Puerto Rico, and Brazil– as well as shorter routes –France, Italy, Portugal, etc.– for which it is adding 8 percent to overall seat supply over the 2017 total. Additionally, the low-cost carrier Iberia Express is launching new services to Mikonos and Palermo.

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