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LASER Airlines Operates Inaugural Transatlantic Flight

DALLAS – LASER Airlines (QL) operated its inaugural transatlantic flight from Caracas (CCS) to Madrid (MAD) on June 3, 2024. The inaugural flight landed at Madrid-Barajas International Airport (MAD) at 09:24 A.M local time.

This flight marks the first-ever transatlantic service of one of the most influential airlines in Venezuela. The Venezuelan Airline will operate three weekly flights between CCS and MAD, with flights departing from CCS at 18:30 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, arriving in MAD at 09:15 the following day (local time). Due to the lack of a proper long-haul airliner, QL will operate flight QL2920/2921 between CCS and MAD with a wet-leased Airbus A330-200 from HiFly, registered as CS-TCE, and wearing discrete titles on the fuselage.

From the Spanish capital, the return flight will depart at 11:15 a.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, landing at Maiquetia Airport at 2:50 p.m. (local time). As of 2024, QL operates flights also to Bogotá (BOG), Curaçao (CUR), Santo Domingo (SDQ), and La Romana (LRM). It includes MAD as its fifth international destination, and first in Europe. 

As LASER’s own fleet consists of strictly short-haul jets like the MD-80, the airline wet-leased an Airbus A330 from HiFly to make the transatlantic leg to Madrid possible. Photo: Fabrizio Spcuglia/Airways.

A Historic Ramp-Up

With the arrival of QL, the CCS to MAD route is now shared among five different airlines that compete directly with each other. These are Iberia (IB), Air Europa (UX), Plus Ultra (PU), Estelar (ES) through Iberojet (E9) and now QL as well. 

During the last few years, this transatlantic segment has seen a substantial increase in frequencies and operators, as only the two largest Spanish airlines were economically capable of flying the route before. Despite this, safety considerations forced IB and UX to arrange alternative overnight routings via SDQ, where its crew would rest instead of in Venezuela.

Today, passengers can enjoy up to 42 weekly flights round-trip linking these two cities; a number only surpassed by a few more significant markets like the BOG-MAD segment.

Watch the arrival of the first LASER Airlines flight in Madrid on our Airways Magazine YouTube channel.

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