Spain’s Iberia asks public to pick summer destination

Reading Time: < 1 minute

MADRID, April 16 (Reuters) – Spanish airline Iberia will let social media users choose an additional destination for its summer flights, the company said, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to shroud air traffic forecasts and schedules in deep uncertainty.

IAG-owned Iberia has so far announced 112 summer destinations and on Friday invited the public to pick another from seven options: Ljubljana in Slovenia; Bastia in France; three Greek cities; Portugal’s the Azores; or Fez in Morocco.

The unusual move underscores the uncertainties surrounding the peak season, with the European Commission promising a digital vaccine passport in time to save the summer, but tourism-dependent economies fearing a repeat of last year’s weak business.

As early-bird bookings give way to last-minute deals, travel firms are looking for creative ways to reassure passengers and gauge interest as they struggle to plan schedules.

Spain and France are among countries that have increased travel restrictions and postponed key immunisation milestones in response to spreading virus variants and disruption to vaccine campaigns, further blurring the outlook for an already battered airline sector. (Reporting by Clara-Laeila Laudette. Editing by Laurence Frost and Mark Potter)