Iberia mounts Sydney-Madrid repatriation flight for Spanish nationals

The Spanish airline will make a rare appearance in Australian skies this month.

By David Flynn, April 20 2020
Iberia mounts Sydney-Madrid repatriation flight for Spanish nationals

Iberia will launch a special rescue flight to ferry Spanish citizens out of Australia, as part of a global repatriation effort which will see some 6,000 Spaniards returned home.

The charter flight, arranged in collaboration with Spain's Foreign Ministry, will depart Sydney on Thursday April 30 at 4.10pm, then head to Madrid via Bangkok. Its touchdown at Madrid-Barajas Airport is scheduled for 9.45am on Monday May 1.

Sydney's Spanish Consulate-General advises that passengers will be charged a "special negotiated rate flight" of  €800 (A$1,370) plus taxes, although the flights are not being sold through Iberia's website – would-be travellers must complete an online registration form, after which "Iberia will contact travellers after a time to offer them a place based on availability."

Over the next two weeks Iberia will mount similar flights from Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Manila, and Peru.

"Another 2,000 people will return home in this second wave of Iberia repatriation flights, following the 6,000 of the first wave," the airline says, citing previous flights to the likes of Algeria, the Dominican Republic, Ireland, Japan, Morocco and Poland.

Other options presented by the Consulate-General to Australia's stranded Spaniards include Qantas' Melbourne-London flights, which run every Sunday from April 12 to May 3, with Iberia servicing the final leg of the journey from London to Spain; and Qatar Airways', with "stopovers in Doha and Paris / London / Frankfurt / Dublin / Rome with the possibility of final destination Madrid or Barcelona."

Iberia is the latest in a string of airlines little-seen in Australian skies which have made a fleeting appearance for coronavirus rescue flights: others include Austrian, German carrier Condor, El Al, KLM and Poland's LOT.


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2011

Total posts 10

*FRIDAY, May 1...!

I had to check my calendar to confirm first of all, since I have no idea what day it is right now of course, but I read that it would fly SYD-BKK-MAD departing Thursday and landing Monday, and I thought, “DAYMMM, that's a long flight!”.

Great article David. Some of these repatriation flights are amazing!

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 517

A lot of interesting repatriation flights recently. Lufthansa did at least 2 return FRA-BKK-AKL and FRA-BKK-CHC (Christchurch) flights on two consecutive days about 10 days ago. Swiss also did one or two, routed ZRH-BKK-AKL.

Seems Bangkok is the most popular technical stopping off point for these flights, and not Singapore. Could be because the Thai government has allowed them with fewer messy requirements than Singapore. Hopefully this could also mean the popularity of Bangkok increasing once the restrictions are lifted. As nice as Singapore is, there is way too much capacity on that route, which should rather be going to Bangkok.

At least 4 return flights, 2 each on 2 consecutive days were also recently carried out by Delta on the Honolulu-Rayong (Pattaya) route for American citizens.


03 May 2013

Total posts 673

Iberia a nice airline. They've always been great to fly with and make a real effort with senior tier ow pax.

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