London Gatwick-Recife via Madrid will launch on December 20 as a twice-a-week service, making the carrier’s third destination in Brazil, and 21st in the Caribbean and Latin American region.
UK managing director Colin Stewart said: “By the end of next year we hope to be in a position to say we offer 25 destinations in Europe and 25 in Latin America and the Caribbean, so with Recife making 21 we are not far off.”
Panama is a strong contender, he noted, adding that “we don’t fly to Chile and the moment and that’s certainly something we would consider.”
The airline is unlikely to fly to Brazil’s tourist hub of Rio de Janeiro, however. “We’ve looked at Rio but there’s a lot of existing competition, with three or four big carriers from the UK. We prioritise where we feel we can add value.”
Air Europa has invested heavily in Dreamliner aircraft, which Stewart said has already proved to be a “gamechanger” for the airline.
It now has eight in operation, to increase to 22 in the next three-to-four years, which will give the airline “one of the most modern fleets in the industry,” he claimed.
“At the moment we have a mix of Boeing and Airbus aircraft but we will consolidate this to have all Boeing, which will give us some cost savings,” he said.
‘We’re now offering one of the best products into Latin America, and the trade is key in communicating the message that yes, it is not direct from the UK, but the added comfort and quality makes a real difference on an 11-hour flight.”