From December 22, 2021 through January 9, 2022, Iberia, Iberia Express, and Iberia Regional Air Nostrum operated nearly 5,700 flights, almost 75% more that in the same period a year ago.
Iberia Express scheduled 180,000 seats to and from the Canary Islands, improving on pre-pandemic performance.
During the entire holiday season Iberia achieve regularity of 99.4% and punctuality of 93,5%, besting all other European network airlines
The Group’s handing unit, Iberia Airport Services, served triple the number of passengers at 19 Spanish airports, hiring nearly 1,000 additional employees.
Iberia Group staff again rose to the occasion during a holiday season greatly complicated by the appearance of the Omicron variant, prolonging the pandemic.
The Iberia Group ended the holiday period on a high note, with 75% more flights and nearly triple the number of passengers compared to a year ago.
Iberia, Iberia Express, and Iberia Regional Air Nostrum together operated nearly 5,700 flights in the December 22- January 9 period, almost 75% more than those of the same period a year ago.
The three airlines also carried some 1.2 million passengers during the holidays, almost triple the 478,000 figure of the year before.
Canary Islands capacity was raised by 4% in the period, to 180,000 seats. This was larger than the number offered in 2019, before the outbreak of the pandemic.
Top Punctuality and Regularity
Iberia Group airlines posted regularity of 99.44% (no flights were cancelled due to Covid-19) and punctuality of 93.5%, which was tops amongst European network airlines during the period, and third in the world, according to Flightstats.
The group made use of the flexibility of the special lay-off arrangements in order to field the employees required at each moment. Idled flight deck and cabin crews amounted to 17% of total flight staff at the beginning of December, but this has since dwindled to 4%.
In both December and January Iberia deployed additional personnel to deal with incidents, and throughout the pandemic it has helped laid off flight deck and cabin staff to maintain or upgrade their professional qualifications in order to facilitate their reincorporation at a moment’s notice.
3.1 Million Passengers Served by Iberia’s Ground Handling Unit
During the holiday period Iberia Airport Services provided ground services to some 11,200 flights, and 3.1 million passengers –nearly triple the number registered a year ago– at 19 Spanish airports where it serves Iberia and third-party airlines.
The handling unit, which will compete to renew its airport contracts this year, has reincorporated all laid-off employees and added nearly a thousand more during the holiday season, deploying them chiefly in Barcelona, Madrid, and Tenerife.
Iberia is increasing its presence in Puerto Rico with this announcement:
The Spanish airline has announced the increase of the operation with the Caribbean island and will add an additional frequency in its summer program to reach five weekly flights
Iberia will offer more than 84,000 seats between the months of April and October, which will be 25 percent more than the same period of 2019, even exceeding the pre-pandemic capacity
The flights will be operated with Airbus A330-200 aircraft with capacity for 288 passengers.
Last summer, Iberia celebrated 72 years since its first flight to Puerto Rico and with this increase in offer the airline strengthens its commitment to this market and reinforces its leadership in Latin America
San Juan de Puerto Rico is also part of the joint business agreement for routes between Europe and the North Atlantic that Iberia maintains together with American Airlines, British Airways and Finnair
The agreement signed between Iberia and the Puerto Rico Tourism Company includes the promotion of tourism promotion in the country in the more than 90 destinations to which the airline flies in Europe
Iberia has announced today, facing the summer season, the increase of its operation with San Juan de Puerto Rico by adding one more frequency to its current offer, to reach five flights a week.
This increase in capacitywill add more than 84,000 seats between the months of April and October, which will be 25 percent more than the same period of 2019, even above the pre-pandemic offer, which shows the commitment of the airline and reinforces its leadership in Latin America.
A firm commitment to this market that Iberia has also wanted to maintain in its winter program – which includes from October to March – with four weekly frequencies.
San Juan de Puerto Rico is also part of the joint business agreement for routes between Europe and the North Atlantic that Iberia maintains together with AmericanAirlines, British Airways and Finnair.
The increase in the operation aims to improve connectivity between the Caribbean destination and the more than 90 destinations to which Iberia flies in Europe.
Flight schedules will be:
Days of operation
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday
These flights will be operated with Airbus A330-200aircraft, with capacity for 288 passengers,19 in Business Class and 269 in Economy Class. The Airbus A330-200 are twin-engine aircraft and a 15% more fuel efficient.
In other news, Iberia is restoring flights to:
the Maldives, and after the proper functioning of the route during the summer months, Iberia will operate two direct flights to Male that will be maintained from December to February 2022
As for Cali, it will operate with three weekly flights,in this case from December to March 2022, which will be added to the offer to Bogotá, currently with 10 frequencies, even exceeding the capacity we offered before the pandemic.
Along with Maldives and Cali, the airline will offer flights to 21 other cities in 17 countries in Latin America, the U.S. and the Maldives.
In Spain, the Group will increase connectivity with the Canary Islands with 73 return flights and 27,000 additional seats, which will mean an increase in capacity of 18 percent.
And it will also reinforce other domestic destinations such as Bilbao, A Coruña or Vigo, where it will increase its offer up to four daily flights per direction, and also with Asturias and San Sebastian, where it has scheduled more frequencies
Iberia recovers on December 2 its flights with Cali and on December 3 the route to the Maldives, two of the main novelties of its winter program.
Regarding the Maldives, after the good functioning of the route during the summer months, Iberia has decided to resume its two direct flights to Malé that will be maintained from December to February 2022.
As for Cali, it also recovers this destination with three weekly flights, in this case from December to March 2022, which are added to the offer to Bogotá, currently with 10 frequencies and, from February 2022, with two daily flights exceeding even the capacity we offered before the pandemic.
“Iberia airline’s chief commercial officer said on Thursday the Spain-based company was now more pessimistic than optimistic about the acquisition of its rival Air Europa after the latest regulatory setback in the half-billion-euro takeover bid.”
Iberia and Repsol have completed the Madrid–Bilbao route with sustainable fuel produced from waste at the Petronor Industrial Complex. The flight was operated with an Iberia Airbus A320neo, one of the airline company’s most efficient aircrafts.
This low-carbon footprint flight is a further step towards the decarbonization of the aviation sector thanks to the use of biofuels and improved energy efficiency. It has resulted in a reduction in emissions of 1.4 tons of CO2.
Aena, in line with its role as a promoter and facilitator of the decarbonization of air transport, supports this initiative and is also working on collaborative projects to promote the production of sustainable fuel to encourage its use by airlines.
This is the first initiative arising from the collaboration agreement towards a more sustaina-ble mobility signed by Repsol and Iberia last July, which includes the development of low-carbon aviation fuels.
Repsol is a pioneer in the manufacture of sustainable aviation fuels in Spain. With this production at its industrial complexes, the company is anticipating the different measures that the EU is aiming to establish to promote the use of sustainable aviation fuels.
Iberia is basing its sustainability strategy on three pillars: more efficient operations, a more sustainable travel experience for its customers, and a commitment to research and devel-opment of sustainable fuels and other technologies.
Iberia and Repsol have made the first flight using biofuel produced from waste in Spain. The biojet used belongs to the batch produced last August at the Petronor Industrial Complex, which is located near Bilbao and belongs to the Repsol Group. The scheduled flight IB426 was operated with an Airbus A320neo aircraft of the Spanish airline, with a capacity of 180 passengers and currently one of the most efficient aircrafts in the world. Equipped with Leap-1st CFM engines, Iberia’s A320neo aircrafts reduces noise by 50% and are more environmentally friendly, emitting 5,000 tons of CO2 less per year and 50% less NOx. The flight also performed more efficiently through a flight operation that improves fuel efficiency by reaching the optimum altitude level in the climb and descent phases.
In this operation, Iberia and Repsol have counted with the participation of Aena that works collaboratively with the different agents to promote the global decarbonization of the air transport sector. It supports this initiative by also working on collaborative projects to promote the production of sustainable fuels, with the aim of encouraging its use by airlines.
On the Madrid-Bilbao route, this flight has managed to reduce the emission of 1.4 tons of CO2, thanks to the improved fuel efficiency provided by the aircraft, together with the use of the sustainable biofuel. In addition, a zero-emissions electric-powered aviation fuel supply vehicle has been used for refueling. All ground operations (loading and unloading of baggage, assistance to the aircraft, and towing to the runway) have used the most efficient vehicles that Iberia Airport Services has deployed throughout its network of airports in Spain, such as the mototok, an advanced electric vehicle controlled by remote control to perform the push back maneuver to the aircraft. On board, Iberia is also testing different packaging solutions to replace single-use plastics.
The batch of jet biofuel used is the third manufactured by Repsol and the first on the Spanish market produced from waste as raw material. The energy company thus integrates circular economy instruments in the process, transforming waste into high added-value products such as low carbon footprint fuels. Two previous batches were produced from biomass at Repsol’s industrial complexes in Puertollano and Tarragona.
This initiative is part of the collaboration agreement towards a more sustainable mobility signed by Repsol and Iberia last July and is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) promoted by the United Nations through the 2030 Agenda. The agreement translates into the development of ambitious joint pro-grams and activities in three areas: the development of low-carbon aviation fuels, the production of electricity and renewable hydrogen to decarbonize Iberia’s fleet of vehicles, and the ecological transition to more sustainable facilities through new technologies based on artificial intelligence, among others.
It is a first milestone in the roadmap of the agreement, which envisages future flights using biofuels with a low carbon footprint to achieve a more sustainable and efficient mobility in the aviation sector. Electrification is not viable at the moment and renewable hydrogen still requires a technological breakthrough in aircraft, so biofuels will be the fastest and most efficient option for reducing emissions in air transport over the next few years.
Decarbonization of aviation sector
The aviation sector is moving decisively towards decarbonization through the use of biofuels. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has set itself the target of zero carbon emissions growth from 2020, for which it is developing various initiatives. Among these, the use of different sustainable fuels, such as biofuels and advanced biofuels produced from waste, stands out for its high contribution to the reduction of CO2 emissions.
On July 14, the European Commission presented the Fit for 55 package, which includes the RefuelEU Aviation initiative. Its aim is to boost the supply and demand of sustainable aviation fuels in the European Union, reaching a use of 2% in 2025, 5% in 2030, and 63% in 2050. In this way, the environmental foot-print of aviation will be reduced, while contributing to the achievement of the European Union’s climate targets.
Repsol is a pioneer in the manufacture of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) in Spain. With the production of these fuels in its industrial complexes it is anticipating the different measures that EU institutions are establishing to promote the use of sustainable aviation fuels. In this sense, both SAF obtained from biomass and advanced biofuels from waste are included in the list of sustainable fuels in the European Renewable Energy Directive.
Net zero emissions target by 2050
Repsol aims to lead the energy transition, in line with the Paris Agreement, and thus limit the increase in global temperature to well below 2ºC. The drive for sustainable fuels is in addition to the projects that Repsol has already deployed in energy efficiency, low-emission electricity generation, renewable hydrogen, circular economy, synthetic fuels, and carbon capture, use, and storage, and is one of the company’s main strategic drivers to achieve its goal of becoming a net zero emissions company by 2050.
The company has a circular economy strategy in place since 2018. Itis embodied in more than 230 initiatives and the ambition to annually use three million tons of waste as raw material for its products by 2030. In October 2020, it announced the construction of Spain’s first advanced biofuels plant, which will be commissioned in 2023. It will be located in Cartagena and will have a capacity per year of 250,000 tons of biofuels produced from waste and valid for cars, trucks, and airplanes. In the port of Bilbao, in the vicinity of the Petronor Industrial Complex, Repsol is planning one of the world’s largest synthetic fuel plants, using renewable hydrogen and CO2 as the only raw materials. The plant will be commissioned in 2024 and will have a capacity of more than 2,100 tons per year.
In addition, technological progress and the deployment of current and future projects has enabled the company to increase its ambition in the carbon intensity reduction targets set out in its 2021-2025 Strategic Plan. The new decarbonization path to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 establishes a reduction in the Carbon Intensity Indicator of 15% in 2025, 28% in 2030, and 55% in 2040, compared to the previous targets of 12%, 25%, and 50%, respectively.
For its part, Iberia is part of IAG, which was the first airline group to commit to achieving zero net emissions by 2050. In addition, by 2030, IAG airlines will operate a minimum of 10% of their flights with sustainably sourced fuels. The Group will purchase one million tons of sustainable aviation fuel per year, enabling it to reduce carbon emissions by two million tons by 2030, roughly the equivalent to the CO2 absorption of a forest the size of 400,000 soccer fields. In addition, IAG will become the first airline group in the world to extend its commitment to net zero CO2 emissions through its supply chain.
Iberia is basing its environmental strategy on three pillars: more efficient operations – including all fleet renewal initiatives, fuel consumption reductions, and vehicle electrification, among others; a more sustainable travel experience for its customers – through the digitalization of services, the progressive elimination of plastics on board, the development of its waste management system, and carbon footprint offsetting; and its commitment to the ecological transition of aviation, especially through its collaboration in the re-search and development of sustainably sourced fuels.
Alaska Airlines further expanded its global reach today with the announcement of a new codeshare agreement with Iberia Airlines, a fellow member of the oneworld alliance. The agreement further strengthens the existing partnership between the two airlines by providing flyers with exciting and convenient travel options.
The agreement allows passengers on Iberia to book travel and easily connect to more than 40 routes throughout Alaska’s network for travel on or after October 7, 2021. On the West Coast, Iberia has nonstop service between Los Angeles and its Madrid hub, and seasonal service between San Francisco and Barcelona – enabling seamless connectivity to the Alaska network beyond both California cities.
Alaska launched its partnership with Iberia on March 31, 2021, the same day Alaska formally became a member of the oneworld global alliance.
Iberia issued this statement:
Following the integration of Alaska Airlines into the oneworld alliance in March this year, the airlines are further strengthening their collaboration by announcing a new codeshare.
This agreement will strengthen the connectivity of Iberia and LEVEL in the United States and, more specifically, on routes with the west coast and will allow customers to offer more destinations
Iberia operates three weekly frequencies between Madrid and Los Angeles and, from there, its customers will be able to continue to more than 20 routes in the United States operated by Alaska Airlines
In the case of San Francisco, the agreement with Alaska Airlines includes more than 15 other codeshare routes, which will connect with flights from Barcelona operated by LEVEL and with Iberia’s Madrid-San Francisco route, as soon as the airline recovers it.
All these flights are now available for sale and can be booked from today
As a next step, Alaska Airlines will add its code to Iberia and LEVEL’s transatlantic flights to Los Angeles and San Francisco, maximizing its collaboration with both airlines.
Among other advantages, this codeshare agreement will allow frequent customers of Iberia and Alaska Airlines to continue accumulating and redeeming points in their respective loyalty programs,and enjoy all the advantages and benefits of being part of oneworld.
Iberia, LEVEL and Alaska Airlines expand their global network by announcing today a new codeshare agreement that will strengthen connectivitybetween Spain and the west coast of the United States, specifically, with 37 new routes from Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Iberia operates three weekly flights to Los Angeles -with the Airbus A330/200with capacity for 288 passengers- and, thanks to this collaboration agreement, the spanish airline’s customers will be able to connect with more than20 routes that Alaska Airlines offers in the United States:Anchorage, Boise, Bozeman, Eugene, Fresno, Kalispell, Spokane, Honolulu, Kona, Las Vegas, Lihue, Medford, Maui-Kahului, Everett-Paine Field, Portland, Redmond, Reno-Tahoe, Seattle-Tacoma, San Francisco, San Jose, Salt Lake City and Santa Rosa-Sonoma County.
In the case of San Francisco, the agreement with Alaska Airlines includes more than 15 other codeshare routes, which will connect with flights from Barcelona operated by LEVEL from March 2022, and also with the Madrid-San Francisco route, as soon as Iberia recovers it. Specifically, the 15 routes operated by Alaska from San Francisco are: Boise, Bozeman, Spokane, Honolulu, Jackson Hole, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Missoula, Maui-Kahului, Portland, Phoenix, Palm Springs, San Diego, Seattle-Tacoma, Salt Lake City and Santa Ana-Orange County.
All these codeshare flights are now available through Iberia’s usual sales channels. In addition, in the short term, Alaska Airlines will add its code to the transatlantic flights of both airlines, which will further expand the collaboration of the three in the Spain-West Coast market of the USA.
The airline remains at capacity levels 30-35 percent lower than 2019 due, mainly, to restrictions on tourism with the United States and Latin America.
The slowdown in the economic recovery, together with the growing uncertainty about whether force majeure ERTEs will be applied to the airline sector and under what conditions, have motivated Iberia’s decision to start negotiations with its unions on an ERTE for organizational and productive reasons.
Due to the slow recovery of both long-haul and connecting flights as well as business travel and the prohibitions, restrictions and quarantines still in force in many countries, Iberia considers it essential that the extension of the force majeure ERTE that the Government and the social partners are negotiating include the air sector to safeguard the employment of workers in the sector.
In any case, Iberia needs to continue applying adjustment measures and this was reported last Friday to its unions. The airline continues at capacity levels 30-35 lower than in 2019 due, mainly, to restrictions on tourism with the United States, Latin America, Japan and China.
This has led Iberia to propose to its unions the intention of starting to negotiate an ERTE for organizational and productive reasons, necessary to be able to continue adjusting its resources to the real capacity and protect employment.
The talks on this ERTE would begin without prejudice to the decisions that Iberia may adopt regarding the ERTEs of force majeure, once the result of the negotiation that is being carried out within the Social Dialogue is known.
Force majeure ERTEs have been a fundamental tool to safeguard employment during the worst aviation crisis, and are the ones that currently apply to the entire tourism sector in Spain and, at present, are being applied in the airline as well.
Tropical Beach with Water-Bungalows on the Maldives
Two weekly flights to Malé from December through February, and three weekly flights to Cali, from December through March.
In Spain, the Madrid-Barcelona shuttle is experiencing the fastest growth, with 68 flights operating weekly –up to 11 flights per day in each direction.
Iberia is also expecting continued domestic demand growth, especially in business travel, between Madrid and Bilbao,La Coruña, and Vigo, and is scheduling four daily return flights to all three cities. Capacity will also be increased on flights to Asturias, San Sebastián and Santander.
In European flights Iberia is boosting Madrid-Paris services to as many as seven daily flights in each direction, reaching both Orly and Charles de Gaulle airports). It is already operating five daily return flights to London, while increasing capacity to Lisbon, Oporto, Frankfurt, Brussels, Geneva, Milan, Rome, Zurich, Düsseldorf, Munich, Venice, Lyon, and Marseilles.
In total, this winter Iberia will fly to 23 long-haul destinations in 17 countries, with nearly 280 flights per week.
Iberia’s fastest-growing markets in Latin America are Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Colombia, and it is also adding flights to Central America and Uruguay.
In the United States, Iberia is increasing its services to New York and Miami to 10 flights per week, while continuing to fly to Chicago, Boston, and Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, the airline has just extended its promotional fares campaign until 22 September.
In the winter season that begins on October 31, 2021, Iberia is expecting the continued recovery of passenger traffic, while contributing to it with promotional fares, and adding destinations and flight frequencies.
After its summer success, Iberia’s new Maldives Islands destination will be maintained through the winter, with two direct return flights per week from December through February.
In December-March the airline will fly three times per week to Cali, Colombia, which was a popular destination this summer.
The Madrid-Barcelona Shuttle Takes Off
Domestic air travel in Spain is showing a strong recovery in general, and flight frequencies to all destinations are being increased.
In September Iberia raised capacity by 32% on its Madrid-Barcelona shuttle service, the Puente Aéreo (“Air Bridge”). Further increases this winter will take it to 69 flights per week, or up to 11 daily return flights..
The airline is also increasing frequencies this winter to up to five flights per week from Madrid to La Coruña, Bilbao, and Vigo, while it will fly twice daily to San Sebastián and to Santander, and make up to three daily flights to Asturias.
Top Copyright Photo: Iberia Airbus A320-214 EC-ILR (msn 1793) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 955095.
AvAir, an industry-leading inventory solutions provider for the aviation aftermarket, has secured their largest acquisition to date with Iberia Maintenance to gain more than 1.5 million consumable parts and 30,000 tagged rotable components.
Iberia Maintenance offers Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul services to more than 50 customers worldwide including all IAG airlines, Iberia, Iberia Express, Aer Lingus, British Airways, Level and Vueling; OEMs and other customers from all five continents. Iberia Maintenance provides Engine Overhaul Services for CFM56, V2500 and RB211 engines in its facility in Madrid; Heavy Maintenance for Airbus fleet in its hangars in Madrid and Barcelona; Component Repair Services and Line Maintenance Services across multiple locations in Spain and Latin America.
AvAir offers customized solutions for customers and suppliers to buy, sell, exchange, loan, lease or consign more than 26 million in-stock aircraft parts. The company is ISO 9001, AS9120 and ASA 100 certified, and adheres to the highest quality standards in all phases: purchasing, receiving, stocking, sales and shipping.
Top Copyright Photo: Iberia Airbus A340-642 EC-JFX (msn 672) ARN (Stefan Sjogren). Image: 949205.
Iberia is awaiting authorization to fly twice a week to the Maldive islands in July and August.
In July the Spanish airline is also resuming flights to Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles in the US, in addition to Miami and New York.
Flight to Cali, Guayaquil, and San Juan (Puerto Rico) raises total Latin American destinations to 18 cities.
Additional summer destinations in Europe include Bergen, Budapest, Corfu, Catania, Dubrovnik, Olbia, Oslo, Split, and Zagreb, plus the “sun and sand” destinations served by Iberia Express –Heraklion, Mikonos, Santorini, Bari, Palermo, Cagliari, and Zadar. And Malta, and a new route to Cephalonia.
Flights to North Africa by Iberia Regional/Air Nostrum will include Casablanca, Marrakesh, and Tangier in Morocco, as well as Algeria staring in June.
In Spain, the Canary and Balearic Islands will be the main focus of Iberia Express, while Iberia Regional/Air Nostrum will offer direct flights from the Balearic Islands to Nice, Geneva, and Zurich.
Followers of Iberia on the social media can vote to choose other new destinations for Iberia, and may win free flights for two to Ljubljana en Slovenia; Bastia in Corsica; Rhodes, Thessaloniki, and Zante in Greece; Fez in Morocco; or the Azores islands in Portugal.
In the third quarter of 2021, Iberia, Iberia Express, and Iberia Regional/Air Nostrum will fly to a total of 112 destinations, 24 of them long-haul, and 88 short- or medium-haul.
Top Copyright Photo: Iberia Airbus A350-941 EC-NCX (msn 302) BSL (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 951973.