Vueling, which IAG (British Airways and Iberia) is trying to take total control of currently having a 46 percent stake in the airline, has announced that it will fly from Heathrow to Palma, from March next year and tickets are already for sale on line.
Palma has not been served from Heathrow since 2009. Vueling will fly daily from Heathrow Terminal 3, where it currently operates daily flights to La Coruna and Bilbao, using an A320.
Vueling will operate a total of nine UK routes next summer.
EdinburghBarcelona services will return for the summer season along with four Cardiff routes to Barcelona, Alicante, Palma and the new route to Malaga.
Vueling CEO, Alex Cruz, said: We are delighted to be bolstering our London Heathrow services with this popular route to Palma. This is going to be hugely welcomed by the strong expat community and together with the introduction of London GatwickBarcelona flights, also commencing at the end of March, our expanded services from the UK capital form a key part of what will be a fourth consecutive year of growth. Palma is an expanding base for Vueling and the airline will be offering 14 direct routes from the airport next summer, including high frequency services from its El Prat Barcelona base.
Since 2009, a number of carriers have tried to fill that gap in the market left by the grounding of the Heathrow service but few have succeeded.
And, in order to avoid traveling with the no frills carriers, many of the former Heathrow route clients have turned to private jet-share scheme Victor launched by a British businessman and Majorcan home owner who saw the size of the gap in the market left by British Midland's withdrawal from Palma.
All Vueling passengers will enjoy free allocated seating and will have access to Vueling's new concept, Business Excellence, featuring differentiated cabin seats, access to VIP lounges, priority boarding, ergonomic head rests, snacks and refreshments on board, extra loyalty points and total flexibility to appeal to the 40 percent of travellers who will use the route for business.
The announcement has been welcomed by the island's luxury hotel and travel sector as well as the real estate sector
International Airlines Group has recently launched an offer for full control of Vueling Airlines, which is already almost nearly half owned by IAG's Iberia.
IAG, which also owns British Airways, said in a statement that it had offered seven euros per Vueling share, valuing the company at 209.3 million euros.
Spanish airline Iberia has a 45.85-percent share holding in the Barcelona-based Vueling, Spain's fourth largest airline in terms of passenger numbers.
It is understood that if the deal goes through, it would be completed during the second quarter of next year, just after the Heathrow route takes off.