Spanish company the Barcelo Group have decided to merge their two charter airlines, Evelop and Orbest, into a single entity called Iberojet. The Palma de Mallorca-based travel company has already informed both airlines that it would be rebranding them as one airline.
The decision to merge Portugal-based Orbest and its subsidiary Spanish-headquartered Evelop comes after a surge in demand for winter flights to Havana, Cuba, and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. According to Reportur, in the same memo, both airlines informed their employees that they would also seek to develop scheduled commercial flights.
Iberojet is a Spanish travel agent
Founded in 1973 as a Spanish holiday company, Iberojet is currently an online travel agency that markets its own products. The company’s main focus is selling holidays within Spain and Caribbean destinations, including Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Jamaica.
Regarded as being a Portuguese charter airline, Orbest is based at Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS). Following its creation in 2007 by the Orizonia Group, a Spanish tour operator, it was later purchased by the Barcelo Group. In the beginning, Orbest started its charter business with a single Airbus A330-200, registration CS-TRA. This was later traded up to a larger Airbus A330-300 in 2010.
Evelop Airlines has two A350s
According to Planespotters.net, Orbest currently has two aircraft, a 13.7-year-old Airbus A330-200 and a six-month-old Airbus A330-900. Both aircraft are presently not in use due to a downturn in travel brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Regarding Spanish registered Evelop Airlines, its aircraft are based at Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport (MAD) and, according to Planespotters.net, comprise of the following aircraft:
- One Airbus A320-200
- One Airbus A330-200
- Three Airbus A330-300
- Two Airbus A350-900
The average age of the fleet is 7.5 years, and the two Airbus A350-900s are relatively new, having been delivered to the Spanish leisure airline in March of 2019 and March 2020.
When looking at both airline’s liveries, it is hard to tell them apart, and it will be interesting to see if they modify their liveries slightly to include the new brand name Iberojet.
Mergers help to consolidate
While travel and tourism publications like Reportur are eager to point out that there has been an upsurge in demand from people in Spain for winter sun destinations in the Caribbean, the two airlines’ merger may be due to the Barcelo Group seeking to acquire government aid.
Making the two airlines operate under a single entity will also allow them to operate more efficiently in what is sure to be a very different winter holiday season compared to the last.
While it is still too early to say, it would be highly skeptical to believe that it will not be a difficult winter for charter operators. Airlines worldwide are all in survival mode due to the pandemic, and it’s unlikely to change until the virus is under control.
What do you think about the Evelop and Orbest merger? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments.