Air Europa will be starting new services from Madrid Barajas (MAD) to Boston Logan (BOS) in 2017, marking their first foray into this market and indeed the first air service overall on this route.
Boston is an odd one – they are a ‘focus’ city for all of United, American and Delta – in that it isn’t a hub per se, but all three of the major US airlines maintain a more than decent presence in the city – for domestic services. Internationally speaking, they are much more weak – and that makes the European carriers (and their corresponding alliances with their American counterparts) stronger in this market.
There’s a very good reason why Emirates has made such an impact on their arrival into the city, boasting near 95% load factors year round, which is insane. People simply were craving more affordable one-stop options to India, South East Asia and Africa that weren’t available at the time.
So while Air Europa might not be aligned with any one of oneworld, SKyTeam or Star Alliance, it’s a big net positive for the city of Boston and for the folks in the surrounding areas in Rhode Island and even as far down south as New York. It means that a direct connection between two important cities in the United States and in Spain has been introduced into the market.
It was always a question of time – but we did know that were it to happen it would be from the European side of things given the way American airlines have handled the Boston market – let their European partners deal with and agree to codeshare deals on their aircraft so American consumers could book through their respective airline loyalties (i.e. United) but end up on a European carrier (i.e. Lufthansa) and still earn all the mileage they needed. It was a good comprimise.
Now you have a new player in the market – it’s a bit odd as Iberia didn’t beat to the punch giving oneworld customers an option to Spain from Boston from Air Europa will take the first stakes on the new market. Flights will be starting on June 12, 2017, just in time for the summer rush. They will be operated 4x weekly on the airline’s Airbus A330-200 aircraft. Flights are already bookable on aireuropa.com and the schedule will look something like this:
Dep from Madrid: 15:30 Arr into Boston: 17:20
Dep from Boston: 23:40 Arr into Madrid: 12:30
So it’s quite late departures on both ends for the flight in the context of East Coast to Europe operations – but keep in mind that in doing so the airline is obviously targeting the direct Boston to Madrid market and not really thinking about connecting passengers. As a BOS based person, it gives you a full day at work before getting on the flight but still getting half a day in Spain upon your arrival, with your hotel room being ready by the time you’re in the city. On the flip side, you get almost a full day in Madrid before heading back home but still arriving at a decent hour and in time for dinner. It looks like good timings to us – in more ways than one!
Despite being mostly a leisure carrier Air Europa has a decent reputation of providing reliable, safe service to destinations that the full service carriers don’t venture to. The A330-200 that will be operating the new Boston service features 24 lie flat beds in business class and a further 275 seats in Economy. It’s a lot of seats with the premium cabin having just 51 inches of pitch and 31 inches in Economy – but we’re also guessing that the prices will reflect this as well.
Will you Bostoners out there be on an Air Europa flight to Madrid anytime soon?