Iberia Adding Washington To Madrid Flights In 2020

Filed Under: Iberia

Iberia has just announced a new route and some service increases, which are made possible by the airline taking delivery of new Airbus A350 aircraft. In 2020 Iberia’s fleet of Airbus A350s will double to 12 planes, so that presents quite some growth opportunities.

Iberia Launching Washington Dulles Flights

The biggest part of the announcement is that Iberia will be launching nonstop flights between Madrid and Washington Dulles as of summer 2020. This actually represents a service resumption for the airline, as they canceled the route in 2010.

The flight will launch on May 1, 2020, with the following schedule:

IB6131 Madrid to Washington departing 3:50PM arriving 6:55PM
IB6132 Washington to Madrid departing 8:30PM arriving 10:15AM (+1 day)

The flight will cover a distance of about 3,800 miles in each direction, and is blocked at 9hr5min westbound and 7hr45min eastbound. It will operate up to 5x weekly.

This flight will be operated by Iberia’s Airbus A330-300, which features 292 seats, including 29 business class seats, 21 premium economy seats, and 242 economy seats.

Iberia business class

While the A350s are making the growth possible here, it’s logical that they’d first operate an A330 on the route, and put the A350 on more established routes.

Iberia says that the route is intended to meet the demand for corporate and premium travel, and to promote closer cultural ties and tourism in both cities. Next summer alone, Iberia will offer more than 68,000 seats in the market.

Iberia is part of the oneworld alliance and is also part of the oneworld transatlantic joint venture, which otherwise includes American, British Airways, and Finnair. Of those airlines, British Airways is the only other carrier to operate transatlantic flights to Washington.

The service to Washington will be Iberia’s sixth US destination, after Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and San Francisco.

Iberia Announced More A350 Growth

In addition to the new Washington Dulles route, Iberia has also announced some other expansion for 2020, largely fueled by the A350s they’re taking delivery of:

  • Capacity to San Juan will increase by 55%, as Iberia will operate up to one daily flight (compared to the current 4-5x weekly flights)
  • Starting March 29, 2020 Iberia will start flying the A350 to Tokyo, and as of June will offer daily flights, rather than 5x weekly flights; this represents a 70% increase in capacity
  • Iberia will bring back their seasonal flight to San Francisco in 2020, which will start in early April and continue until late October
  • In 2020, Iberia will start flying the A350 to Los Angeles

Iberia A350

Bottom Line

It’s cool to see Iberia adding flights to Washington Dulles, as they’ll be the second oneworld airline to operate transatlantic flights there.

Once this flight becomes bookable it should hopefully be a good use of Avios or American miles. Carrier imposed surcharges are significantly lower on Iberia than on British Airways, at least when booking through American AAdvantage or Iberia Plus.

What do you make of Iberia’s new flight to Washington?

  1. Aer Lingus operated MAD-IAD as a fifth freedom route a few years ago (the only one I ever recall them operating). It didn’t work out for them.

  2. Oh man, this is HUGE for those in DC region who have a bunch of AA miles. Great to have a lower surcharge option to get to Europe.

  3. “The service to Washington will be Iberia’s sixth US destination, after Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and San Francisco.
    Capacity to San Juan”


    Sounds to me like Iberia has 7 US destinations

  4. @DCJoe



    “as they’ll be the second oneworld airline to operate transatlantic flights there”… does the Qatar flight to Doha not count as transatlantic?

  5. This is great. When Iberia used to be here it helped drive down the IAD to Europe pricing in Business. Iberia was often throwing out fairly reasonable C fares. With both TAP and Iberia in the market now it should start moving IAD to being much more competitive along the lines of JFK for good promotions in Business.

  6. Has American started passing along Iberia fuel surcharges? I’m showing a “carrier-imposed fee” of $1,200 per ticket, round trip business class IAD-MAD. Last time i booked Iberia with American miles (~ 2 years ago), that wasn’t the case.

  7. A very nice development indeed.

    I’d say IB left the DC market 10 years ago and I’ve been waiting for it to return ever since OW became a s much of a presence in DC as *A

  8. I attempted to booked it. I’ve flown IB biz awards via AA multiple times. Taxes as I recall are ~$115-180 range. IAD>MAD is showing up at ~$638 in taxes/fees. I called the Executive Platinum desk and they were on hold with IT for over 20 minutes. They said they have not received any notification, but it now appears that Iberia is imposing BA level fuel surcharges. Very disappointing to hear…….

  9. Ben, I’m a huge fan of your blog, read it everyday!
    But I have to point out, shouldn’t the title here be “Adding Madrid to Washington” not “Washington to Madrid” since Iberia is based in Madrid

  10. Looks like they are passing along BA style YQ on this flight only. Seeing $628 in J for IAD>MAD on both Iberia and AA (I haven’t check BA but cannot imagine it is better). Haven’t checked other OW carriers yet though.

  11. the taxes and fees are $208 for economy class; I am not even sure if this flight is worth that much on a flexible date. It’s outrageous how much the “fuel surcharges” etc are.

  12. I flew Iberia from DC about 10 years ago, right before they discontinued the flight. The load factor at that time, on both the outbound and the return, were very low so it was clear that the flight was not going to last.

    I am interested in seeing Iberia back at DC — curious as to why they choose DC as it is not a Oneworld hub

  13. I’m glad Iberia is returning to IAD. It will be nice to have year-round nonstop service to MAD. United’s seasonal service leaves seven months without a nonstop flight. (Have I mentioned that I hate connections.)

    By the way, the Air Lingus IAD-MAD service was subsidized by United because United didn’t want to establish a base in Madrid. When United and Continental merged, United stopped the subsidy because they inherited Continental’s Madrid base.

    Also, did anyone else notice how rapidly Iberia intends to turn around their aircraft in IAD? An amazingly short turnaround for a long-haul flight. They must plan on provisioning both legs of the trip in MAD.

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