In March, 2012, Iberia suspended their thrice weekly nonstop service from Madrid to Johannesburg. At the time, the airline was undergoing severe financial issues, so the suspension made sense. The airline revealed their transformation plan, which meant slashing jobs, cutting routes and shedding aircraft from the fleet.
Per the Iberia Pressroom, flights to Johannesburg will be resumed as of August 1, 2016. With the resumption of service to JNB, Iberia will now serve all of the destinations that were cut as part of their restructuring, such as Havana, Cuba and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Flights to Johannesburg will be operated by their Airbus A330 fleet, which offer 36 seats in business class and 242 in the main cabin. Iberia’s new business class will offer flat-beds, direct aisle access for all seats, while the economy cabin will offer wider seats.
Business travellers can enjoy the lavish entertainment [programs] on 15.4” touch screens, as well as gourmet meals accompanied by a selection of the most exquisite regional Spanish wines
Economy Class passengers fly comfortably in ergonomic seats which are wider and more comfortable. The same entertainment [programs] as in Business Class is available to them on 9” touch screens. It includes 50 feature films in several languages, 80 television series and documentaries, and video games. Wi-Fi and GSM connectivity are available to all Business and Economy Class passengers.
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Flights don’t appear to have been loaded just yet, though when they are loaded, you can book them with American AAdvantage miles, or British Airways/Iberia Avios. Oneway redemptions in business class from the US to Africa run 75,000 miles, while a one-way economy ticket is just 37,500. The price for economy redemptions will rise to 40,000 on March 22, 2016, as American guts their generous award charts. A oneway business class redemption from Europe to Africa, using AAdvantage miles, currently prices out at 37,500 miles, though be aware that the same ticket will require 55,000 AAdvantage miles beginning March 22, 2016!
Booking with British Airways will add on high fuel surcharges, though transferring points from British Airways to Iberia (provided your account has been open at least 90 days and has had some activity) will allow you to pay much less in the way of fuel surcharges. You can calculate the amount of Avios required by using this handy tool on the British Airways website.
All images courtesy of Iberia.