Air Algérie Plans Madrid Resumption After Algeria-Spain Détente

Air Algérie 737
Credit: Trevisan Aviation Images/Alamy Stock Photo

Air Algérie will resume flights to Madrid in January following the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Algeria and Spain.

The move comes after the North African country in November appointed Abdelfetah Daghmoum as Algeria’s ambassador to Spain, ending 19 months of “suspended relations” between the two counties.

Algeria had recalled its ambassador in March 2022 after Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez wrote to Morocco’s King Mohammed VI to express support for the country’s autonomy plan for Western Sahara, considered a “non-autonomous territory” by the United Nations that is disputed by Rabat and the Algeria-backed Polisario Front.

The support for Morocco’s proposal to resolve the Western Sahara conflict ended Spain’s historic position of neutrality and prompted Algeria to suspend a friendship and cooperation treaty between the countries. However, ties were reestablished in mid-November when the appointment of Daghmoum was granted approval by the Spanish Council of Ministers.

Air Algérie will return to Madrid Adolfo Suarez-Barajas Airport on Jan. 2, 2024, data provided by OAG Schedules Analyser shows. Flights from Algiers Houari Boumediene International Airport will operate twice a week using Boeing 737-700 and 737-800 aircraft.

The airline will compete on the 449-mi. (390-nm) sector with Iberia, which flies twice a week using Airbus A320 equipment at present. Prior to the pandemic—and the suspension of diplomatic relations between Algeria and Spain—Air Algérie offered five flights per week, and Iberia served the route daily.

Additionally, Air Algérie plans to increase frequencies from Algiers to Barcelona El Prat Airport, rising from four flights per week to seven. The SkyTeam alliance member is one of two operators on the route, with Vueling currently offering a 3X-weekly service that will rise to 4X-weekly from early January.

Alongside the boost to Air Algérie’s Spanish network, the carrier commenced a new weekly domestic service connecting Algiers-Tindouf-Adrar-Algiers on Dec. 17 and says it will resume flights to Syria from Dec. 21. A route between Algiers and Damascus, operating via the Lebanese capital Beirut, will initially be served once a week, rising to 2X-weekly from Jan. 9. OAG data shows the airline last served Damascus in August 2013.

David Casey

David Casey is Editor in Chief of Routes, the global route development community's trusted source for news and information.