Don’t think the Spanish airline execs didn’t pay attention in economy class. If they were dozing off, they were dreaming of ways to beat out the competition, and still are. With Iberia’s announcement of a new business-class offering for Malaga-Madrid, we can say they’re recognizing AVE’s success in the new high-speed train on this same route. Or we can say they’re just offering a new product for the benefit of the common good, but hey – we would only be putting blinders on, since informed travellers are well aware of the options and many have chosen the AVE lately.
Iberia seems to be targeting the work world with this new fare class, available for 125.37 € (~96 £) for a one-way trip, and a reduced round-trip of 226.74 € (~174 £). They claim these kinds of tickets will be available for purchase from their website (iberia.com) even on the day of the flight, making it simple for workers with quickly-changing agendas to keep up. Compare these with Renfe‘s AVE one-way tickets, which float around 115 € and 135 € for their business (preferente) and first class (club) tickets, respectively.
Of course Iberia and Renfe both have economy-class tickets for this trajectory, as low as 32 € and 68 € for one-way trips. I couldn’t find any that low on Iberia’s site, but surely it has much to do with hi/lo seasons, something which doesn’t seem to affect the train system nearly as much.