Competitor jumps in to fill Spanair’s Nordic routes

Vueling immediately launches to Copenhagen and Stockholm

Several airlines win from the passing of Star Alliance member Spanair, which not so long ago was the second-biggest airline at both Madrid and Barcelona. The carrier had remained second-biggest at Barcelona, behind Vueling, while operations in Madrid gradually fell from second to sixth place. But Vueling and, more recently, Ryanair had been putting huge pressure on Spanair’s Barcelona network, with Vueling competing directly on all but one of its 16 domestic routes from Barcelona.
Vueling recently announced it would also compete with Spanair on international routes from Barcelona to Copenhagen, Stockholm, Marseille, Munich and Nice. It has now reacted quickly to its competitor’s bankruptcy, launching to Copenhagen and Stockholm from Barcelona with immediate effect, from January 30 and February 3 respectively, brought forward from March 25. Air Europa and Iberia, competitors on the Madrid routes, also benefit from the bankruptcy.
Spanair had been operating 54 routes this winter. Only 22 were international; just seven of the 22 had more than three weekly frequencies; and five were to Star Alliance hubs (including Copenhagen and Stockholm). The bankruptcy leaves Star Alliance weak in the Spanish market, with Lufthansa the alliance’s biggest airline there.
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[photo by FTDG]