Celebrating Six Decades of Connection: Iberia's Madrid-Brussels Route Turns 60

By Ivan PetrenkoMay 6, 2024 03:30 AMNews
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Iberia aircraft tails lined up at an airport, showcasing the airline's distinctive red and yellow livery
Iberia aircraft tails lined up at an airport, showcasing the airline's distinctive red and yellow livery. Source: unsplash

In a significant milestone, Iberia commemorates the 60th anniversary of its inaugural flight between Madrid and Brussels, which took place on April 25, 1964. This historic flight was conducted using a Carvair aircraft, a modified version of the DC-4 tailored for transporting large-volume items like automobiles. Notably, the Carvair's distinctive feature was its elongated nose, extended by 2.8 meters, setting it apart from the original DC-4 design.

Initially, the service operated with a modest frequency of three flights per week, utilizing the 22-seat Carvair, illustrating the era's more personalized approach to air travel. Today, Iberia maintains a robust schedule with four daily flights on this route, now serviced by the Airbus A320neo. This modern aircraft, seating 186 passengers across Business and Economy classes, represents the pinnacle of current aviation technology. It boasts significant advancements with its Leap-1A type CFM engines, which are 50% quieter than previous models. Additionally, it achieves a 15-20% reduction in fuel consumption and substantially lowers CO2 and NOx emissions, underscoring Iberia's commitment to sustainability.

Reflecting on the evolution of air travel costs, the price of a round-trip ticket has seen considerable changes. Initially, Business class tickets cost 8,675 pesetas and Economy class 6,310 pesetas, approximately €52 and €38, respectively. Today, prices start from around €113 for a round trip when booked via Iberia's website, highlighting the dynamic nature of airline pricing over the decades.

This anniversary not only marks a significant period of sustained air connection between two key European capitals but also reflects broader trends in the aviation industry, including advancements in aircraft technology and a continuous focus on enhancing passenger experience and environmental stewardship.

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