Birmingham Airport has pulled off a major coup by attracting one of Spain’s biggest airlines.
Spanair will launch its first scheduled UK operation with flights to Barcelona and Madrid in May.
Birmingham’s previous Madrid service ceased in 2008 and the current Barcelona service offered by bmibaby will be withdrawn on June 7.
Paul Kehoe, Birmingham Airport’s chief executive officer, said: “From May we will provide the only direct Madrid service south of Liverpool and north of Watford Gap and with the excellent road and rail access to Birmingham it’s a no brainer for people wanting to reach Spain’s capital city from this stretch of the country.
“We are obviously delighted too with the news that Barcelona will continue to be available for our passengers once the current service stops in June.
“Although it’s not clear if news like this is the early signs of the economy recovering, it certainly demonstrates that the industry has confidence in Birmingham so we are delighted to have been chosen as the first airport in the UK where Spanair will start operating scheduled flights.”
The Barcelona flights will operate four times per week, each Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday starting on May 20.
Madrid flights will operate three times a week each Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from May 25.
Timings have been scheduled to meet business and leisure travellers’ needs and both destinations will be served all year round.
The airline is so confident of the success of its Birmingham operation that it will be operating an Airbus A320 aircraft with 168 seats, with both business and economy seats available.
It will also offer onward flights on its vast network across Spain and North Africa.