Binter Faces IAG with New Madrid Aircraft Base

Canarian airline Binter confirmed the establishment of a new aircraft base at the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas International Airport.



October 27, 2023

DALLAS - A crucial announcement for Spanish commercial aviation has been made today, as Canarian airline Binter (NT) confirmed the establishment of a new aircraft base at the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas International Airport (MAD), with the initial operation of two Embraer E-195 E2 airframes.

This action will allow the carrier to launch new services between the Spanish capital and the Canary Islands, with the running of 8 daily flights to Gran Canaria (LPA) and Tenerife (TFN), from February 2024. This translates into an offering of 15,000 weekly seats by Binter for these routes.

The opening of an aircraft base will also place Binter in competition with the IAG Group, which is currently going through the purchase process of Air Europa (UX) through its subsidiary Iberia (IB). Once the merger is completed, the domestic market share in traffic controlled by the multinational entity will skyrocket, very close to becoming a monopoly.

The Canarian carrier predicts that five total airframes will be needed just for the operation of the Las Palmas and Tenerife to Madrid routes. In August, Binter signed a wet-lease agreement with German Airways (ZQ) for one Embraer E-190 unit, which may be included in the schedules to Madrid.

Apart from the newest Embraer E2, Binter is also the owner of 29 ATR 72 turboprops. Photo: Pablo González de León/Airways.

A Local, Heavy Competitor

Binter is the local airline of the Canarian Archipelago. This region, very close to Western Africa, is home to more than 2 million inhabitants, and it is a large contributor to the Spanish economy thanks to its tourism and leisure industry.

To maintain a strong connection between the islands and the mainland, NT operates a very complex network with takeoffs happening every 20 minutes between the airports, serving almost as a "flying bus", where passengers may show up one hour before departure and purchase a ticket.

In addition, Canarian residents are entitled to big discounts on flight tickets to ease their travel possibilities by air. Therefore, NT is actually a strong competitor with a big reputation and significantly better onboard service that may face the future monopoly of the IAG group in the Madrid-Canary Islands market segment.

To further persuade potential customers, connecting feeder flights from the other five islands will be offered free of charge, enlarging the connectivity of the Madrid route to the entire archipelago.

Featured image: Binter Canarias EC-NEZ Embraer E195-E2. Fabrizio Spicuglia/Airways.