Category Archives: Iberia Express

Iberia Express to add Madrid-Stockholm service, will start repainting its fleet

Iberia Express (Madrid) will add a new route linking the Madrid hub and Stockholm (Arlanda) on March 30, 2014. The new route will be operated with Airbus A320s two days a week per Airline Route.

Iberia Express (2013) logo

In other news, taking the lead from its parent Iberia, Iberia Express will begin to repaint it fleet in this new Iberia-like color scheme. The airline issued this statement (translated from Spanish):

“Starting this week, we renew our brand to adapt to the new brand architecture of Iberia while maintaining our identity: dynamism, agility and proximity.

Besides changing the logo, we will replace our visual identity by creating a style based on freshness, flexibility and photographic style.

The incorporation of the new image will be performed gradually in all the graphic elements of the company.”

Iberia Express A320-200 (13)(Flt)(Iberia Express)(LR)

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com (all other images by Iberia Express). Iberia Express’ Airbus A320-214 EC-JSK (msn 2807) taxies at Palma de Mallorca in the special Tenerife – Salmes Cup 2013 promotional color scheme.

Iberia Express: AG Slide Show

Have you seen the “new look” AirlinersGallery.com photo library website?

Iberia Express to operate Madrid-Berlin Tegel flights starting on October 27

Iberia Express (Madrid) will start a new route on October 27 between the Madrid hub and Berlin (Tegel). The flights will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.

Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-211 EC-FLP (msn 266) taxies to the runway at Palma de Mallorca.

Iberia Express: AG Slide Show

Iberia takes delivery of its first Airbus A330-300

Iberia A330-300 EC-LUB (77)(Apr) MAD (ASC)(LRW)

Iberia (Madrid) has taken delivery of the first of the five Airbus A330-302s that will enter service for the Spanish airline this year. The new type landed at 11:46 a.m. (1146) today at Iberia’s T4 hub at Madrid-Barajas airport.

The aircraft, A330-302 EC-LUB (msn 1377), is named “Tikal” and is equipped with IB’s new business and economy class interiors for long-haul flights.

In other news, the flag carrier is facing a new round of strikes by its employees on February 18 and February 22, grounding 415 of the 1,060 flights according to Reuters. The strike is also expected to affect Vueling Airlines and Iberia Express.

Copyright Photo: #SaveIberia. EC-LUB arrives at the MAD base. The new type is due to go into revenue service on the Madrid-Luanda route. Iberia had wanted to introduce a new livery with this new type but has decided to delay any new brand.

Iberia: AG Slide Show

Iberia to cut striking pilot salaries and benefits

Iberia (Madrid) wants to cut the salaries of its pilots and reduce the perks while increasing the hours flown for its pilots. By doing so, the embattled flag carriers hopes to trim 20 percent on its total costs for its pilots and boost productivity by 25 percent according to this report by Reuters.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Meanwhile the IB pilots continue to strike the flag carrier over the introduction of lower-cost Iberia Express.

Who will win this battle?

Copyright Photo: Pepscl.

Iberia Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Iberia issues a statement about the legality of Iberia Express and the on-going pilot strikes by SEPLA

Iberia (Madrid) today (April 16) issued the following statement concerning the SEPLA pilots union’s call for another 30 days of strikes and the latest remarks by the SEPLA representative:

  • The Legality of Iberia Express, a Success Story with Good Prospects

Iberia Express was founded on October 6, 2011, and it complies with all Iberia’s agreements and union contracts, so it is strictly legal.

Iberia Express is a company 100% owned by the Iberia group, specialising in short- and medium-haul flights, both point-to-point and to feed traffic to Iberia’s long-haul network in a profitable manner.

Iberia Express began operations on March 25, using four Airbus A320s to serve four domestic destinations, to be expanded by the end of this year to 14 aircraft and 20 destinations, including some that are entirely new for Iberia, such as Riga and Mikonos. It offers both business and tourist class, and the same services as other Iberia flights, at competitive fares.
In a country with 5 million unemployed, the new airline will create some 500 jobs this year, a number which will double when the company reaches full capacity.
Iberia Express is a success story from the very beginning, with a punctuality rating close to 100%. Its business approach, ability to adapt to the current situation and its quality guarantee Iberia Express a bright future, as bright as the other airlines where Iberia holds a stake.
  • A Short- and Medium-haul Segment with a Future and Employment Guarantees
The traditional business model for short- and medium-haul routes is no longer viable, as the closing of several carriers attests, due to competition from low-cost airlines and other forms of transportation, as well as a structural shift in the priorities of the customers in these markets. At the same time, Iberia relies on having a broad range of such routes since they provide 70% of its traffic on the long-haul routes which are profitable and on which the company is focusing its future growth strategy.
Iberia negotiated and reached agreements with ground staff and cabin crews over a number of measures to contain costs and raise productivity, aimed at restoring profitability to these routes. However, despite a total of more than 60 meetings over a two-year period, it proved impossible to reach a similar agreement with pilots, which led Iberia to launch the new Iberia Express airline as the best alternative for making short- and medium-haul routes viable, while feeding traffic to the company’s long-haul network.
The airline has made formal employment guarantee commitments to the ground and cabin staff unions representing 93% of total company personnel, with assurances that the creation of Iberia Express does not threaten existing jobs.
  • Iberia Pilots’ Productivity
The productivity of Iberia pilots is the lowest in Spain. They fly an average of 650 hours per year, as compared with the 900 the law permits, the more than 800 flown by pilots of other short-haul airlines with which Iberia competes. The collective bargaining agreement with Iberia specifies a limit of 820 hours per year in short-haul fleets and 850 in long-haul fleets, limits which are never reached because of the large number of conditions and restrictions.
In addition, in long-haul flights many of these hours are worked by extra crew members who travel as reinforcement staff, in excess of legal requisites and the practices of other airlines.
Under the proposal made by the SEPLA union, the pilots hired by Iberia Express would enter the ranks of all Iberia pilots and come under the same collective bargaining agreement, with the same conditions and restrictions, which means that their productivity would be exactly the same as that of other Iberia pilots. Without eliminating these conditions and restrictions, it would be impossible to increase productivity to a level near that of competing airlines. In addition, the pilots union proposal for payroll cuts was strictly temporary, and would have been diluted over time and fail to solve any of Iberia’s competitiveness issues.
  • The Strikes
SEPLA has called a total of 26 strikes against Iberia in the past 30 years, which is probably a record number of strikes ever endured by any company in such a period. In the past five months SEPLA has called 66 strike days to protest the creation of Iberia Express; it initially cancelled 24 of them when the government proposed mediation by Manuel Pimentel, but called again another 30 strikes, up until July 20.
Each of the first 12 strike days in the past few months brought losses to the airline of around 3 million euros, or a total of 36 million. We have to add on top of this the other 30 new strike days, with their concomitant losses to the company.
  • Mediation
Last November, long before the intervention of the mediator proposed by the government, Iberia had already offered SEPLA representatives the opportunity to choose a neutral person to preside over the bargaining table in order to facilitate negotiations, but this proposal was rejected by SEPLA. For this role the company had suggested Esteban Rodríguez Vera, who has held numerous positions in the Ministry of Labour, including those of Director General and General Technical Secretary, and also Carolina Martínez Moreno, professor of labour law at the University of Oviedo, and chairperson of the National Consultative Committee on Collective Bargaining.
The airline worked openly and in the best of faith with the mediator named by the government, Manuel Pimentel, with the aim of reaching an agreement to call off a conflict that is so damaging to customers, to the company, and to Spain’s tourism sector and economy as a whole.
Iberia was prepared to consider the proposal made by the mediator, but it was rejected out of hand by the SEPLA pilot’s union, so could not even be discussed.
  • Iberia’s Spanishness
Iberia is not the property of the SEPLA union, but belongs to shareholders around the world, who risk their money, vote on company strategy (including the creation of Iberia Express), appoint top management, and keep watch on the company through the board.
The company’s headquarters, its operational base, and the lion’s share of its business, are all in Spain, and this is the greatest guarantee of its Spanishness.
Sixty-six strike days are not the best way to attract serious investors to the company or the capital required to ensure survival and future growth, but, on the contrary, they drive investors and customers away, and constitute an irresponsible action by the SEPLA union that poses the greatest risk to Iberia’s future.
  • The T4 Hub
Terminal 4 at Madrid-Barajas airport does not belong to the SEPLA union, nor to Iberia, nor to British Airways, nor to any of the many other airlines that use it. It belongs to the state agency AENA, hence to the country as a whole, and it is open to airlines that pay fees for its use.
Iberia is the largest user of this terminal, so its pays the most to AENA. Iberia group airlines operate more than 600 daily flights from/to Madrid, as compared to 10 operated by British Airways, which has actually reduced the number of its Madrid flights since the merger.
  • IAG
IAG, the holding company to which both Iberia and British Airways now belong, is a Spanish company with corporate domicile in Madrid and operational HQ in London. The chairman is a Spaniard, Iberia chairman Antonio Vázquez, and its largest shareholder is the Spanish bank Caja Madrid (now Bankia).
The IAG board has 14 members, seven chosen by Iberia and seven by British Airways, and it supervises both companies.
IAG’s primary concern is for both airlines to be profitable, and to create value for shareholders, employees, and customers. But the two airlines maintain their separate identities and brands, along with autonomy of management, with each one obliged to solve its problems using its own means and resources. Each airline has to finance investment with its own funds. Each airline has its plans and must manage them with its own resources, solving problems with its own means. The motive of the merger was to create synergies, i.e. to save on costs thanks to a larger volume of purchases, and to share certain resources and increase revenues thanks to a larger network.
Iberia believes it necessary to state the foregoing to further the understanding of the current situation by its customers and the public at large.
The company will continue to use all means at its disposal to assist customers affected by the strikes, and to assure the future of Iberia and of its more than 20,000 employees.
Iberia appeals its pilots to stop the strike and work to make Iberia one of the most competitive airlines, which will benefit them and the company as a whole.
Copyright Photo: Javier Rodriguez.
Hot New Photos Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Iberia is hit today by the first of 30 one-day strikes

Iberia Express Airbus A320-211 EC-FNR (msn 323) PMI (Javier Rodriguez). Image: 908105.

Iberia (Madrid) was hit today by the first day of 30 single-days strikes by its pilots who are protesting the launch of the lower-wage Iberia Express (Madrid). As a result, at least 150 flights today have been cancelled by the carrier.

Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Javier Rodriquez.

Hot New Photos Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Iberia Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Iberia hit by a general strike in Spain today, pilots call for 30 days of strikes from April through July to protest Iberia Express

Iberia (Madrid) is dealing with a general strike in Spain today. According to the airline, “As a result of the general strike in Spain on March 29, and which also affects air traffic, more than four hundred of Iberia Group flights have been cancelled.”

List of cancelled Iberia flights: CLICK HERE

In other bad news for the company, the IB pilots, still angry over the launch this week of Iberia Express while everyone was in mediation over the issue, have announced 30 additional days of strikes in the April through July period. The company slammed the latest announcement of strikes as “irresponsible”, as well as “unjustified, damaging and disproportionate”.

Read the full account from Reuters: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Javier Rodriguez.

Hot New Photos Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Iberia Slide Show: CLICK HERE