Category Archives: Iberia

Iberia converts first Airbus A330 into a freighter to adapt to market

Iberia has made this announcement:

Transformación cargueros
  • In November, the airline will operate until four weekly return Madrid-Los Angeles flights
  • The conversion has been made by Iberia MRO

 

The first Airbus A330 airliner that Iberia has converted into freighter has arrived in Los Angeles from Madrid. Until four weekly cargo flights between the two cities have been scheduled for this month.

In the early months of the Covid’19 pandemic, Iberia’s flight operations were almost exclusively confined to repatriation flights and flights carrying emergency medical supplies. This experience prepared Iberia to adapt to the new market situation and seize this opportunity.

Iberia’s sales chief María Jesús López Solás said “We’re expecting an increase in air freight demand in coming months and this in an opportunity we should try to seize.  Under today’s circumstances we must adapt better than ever to market demands, and this operation will help diversify our income streams while keeping our staff active.”

IAG Cargo, the cargo division of International Airlines Group (IAG), will service these flights. At the start of the pandemic IAG Cargo were quick to develop tailored solutions for its customers cargo needs, including cargo-only flying on passenger aircraft and establishing a new charter team. With a wide network, IAG Cargo offers its services on more than 500 aircraft, to more than 350 destinations.

 

Retrofit by Iberia MRO

This first Airbus A330-300 converted into freighter was already undergoing an inspection in Iberia’s Madrid maintenance hangar in La Muñoza, where all Economy, Premium Economy seats and crew rest were removed along with separation panels. Carpeting was reinstalled with lights indicating the 33 cargo positions. Cargo will be held in place with netting fastened to floor rails where the seats were anchored. This configuration yields additional carrying capacity of up to 105 m3 or 18,000 kg. of cargo.

This conversion of the cabin has been carried out by Iberia MRO, which boasts long experience in aircraft retrofit operations and altering cabin configurations. They have followed Airbus guidelines and the cabin conversion has been approved by Spanish Air Safety Agency, AESA.

In August Iberia Group is operating scheduled flights to 55 cities in Spain and Europe

Iberia Group has made this announcement:

  • Prague and Berlin are added to the destinations served by direct flights
  • Flights are timed for easy connections at Madrid Airport’s T4
  • The company is offering a limited number of long-haul scheduled flights, repatriation flights, and cargo flights

This August , Iberia Group is offering regular scheduled flights to a total of 55 destinations in Spain and the rest of Europe, including new direct services to Prague and Berlin.

As in July, long-haul flights are being operated to countries open to air traffic, including Uruguay, Costa Rica, Ecuador or the United States, among others. Iberia is also operating special repatriation and cargo flights to countries still closed to schedules traffic. All flights are subject to each country’s restrictions.

Iberia’s flights are all now timed to facilitate connections at the airline’s hub in T4 of Madrid Airport.

These flights represent only 27% of Iberia’s planned pre-Covid-19 flight schedule, up by nine percentage points from July, thanks to the new destinations and added frequencies to the Canary and Balearic Islands, Barcelona, and other tourist destinations.

In addition to these flights originating in Madrid, the Iberia Group is also operating point-to-point Iberia flights such as Munich-Minorca, San Sebastian-Palma, and San Sebastian-Malaga, while Iberia Express is flying from Asturias to Gran Canaria and Tenerife, and from Vigo to Tenerife. Iberia’s franchise partner Iberia Regional Air Nostrum is flying from Nice to Malaga, as well as flights from different mainland destinations to the Canary and Balearic Islands.

Safe travel

The Iberia Group’s summer flight programme features new health and hygiene measures to ensure passenger safety and a pleasant travel experience, in keeping with the recommendations of the Spanish and European Air Safety Agency (EASA) and the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC), intended to facilitate the recovery of air travel in a safe environment.

Here follows a summary of these measures, which are given in detail on the Iberia, Iberia Express and Iberia Regional Air Nostrum web sites.

Pre-flight: 
•    During check in passengers must sign a Declaration of Health, attesting that they have no symptoms, have not been diagnosed with Covid-19, and have not been in contact with a known carrier.
•    On flights abroad passengers must also complete a “Health Tracking Form” and a “Health Questionnaire”.
•    Only passengers holding tickets to fly will be admitted to Spanish or other European airports.
•    Passengers are strongly advised to obtain their boarding passes before reaching the airport, downloading them to their telephones in order to avoid contacts.

At the airport: 
•    All surfaces that may be touched by passengers are disinfected frequently and barriers have been placed in strategic positions at check in and customer service counters.
•    Queues for check in and other services have been redesigned to ensure distancing.
•    Passengers are strongly advised to check in their hand luggage (at no charge), in order to avoid unnecessary movements aboard the aircraft.
•    No hand luggage may be taken aboard that exceeds 56 x 40 x 25cm or 10 kg in Economy. On long-haul flights Business passengers may take two pieces of hand luggage not exceeding 14 kg.
•    For additional speed, safety, and convenience, passengers will board by rows, starting from the rear.

Other measures:
•    During flights all passengers above the age of six must wear face masks covering nose and mouth, preferably surgical ones.
•    Passengers must change their masks with the frequency indicated by the manufacturer. Bags will be provided for the storage or disposal of used masks.
•    Aircraft cabins will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected as recommended
•    Air in cabins is replaced every 2-3 minutes, and HEPA filters eliminate 99.99% of all virus and bacteria from recirculated air.

On-board services 
•    On each flight passengers will hear messages from health authorities about detecting, avoiding, and reporting symptoms of Covid-19.
•    Disinfectant wipes will be issued to all passengers, and extra supplies of hand-washing soaps will be available in toilets.
•    Single-use disposable utensils will be used in food service, which has been simplified.
•    Blankets and pillows issued on long haul flights are disinfected and sealed before use.
•    Duty-free sales and the distribution of newspapers and magazines during flights have been eliminated, but passengers can access more than 7,000 on-line publications, along with other entertainment options.
•    Outfitted in personal protection gear, Iberia cabin crews have also undergone specific training in the implementation of good health practices and special protocols, enabling them to detect and isolate any passenger showing suspicious symptoms.

British Airways retires the Airbus A318, Iberia to retire the A340-600 as IAG reports first half results

Iberia Airbus A340-642 EC-JPU (msn 744) KBP (Robbie Shaw). Image: 950772.

International Consolidated Airlines (IAG) today (July 31, 2020) presented Group consolidated results for the six months to June 30, 2020.

The results for the six months were significantly impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19, which has had a devastating impact on the global airline and travel sectors, particularly from late February 2020 onwards.

COVID-19 situation and management actions:

  •   Most Group aircraft grounded in quarter 2, with small programme of passenger flights for essential travel and repatriation
  •   1,875 additional cargo flights operated in quarter 2 to transport critical equipment and essential supplies
  •   Additional operating procedures implemented to protect customers and staff including facemask use and additional cleaning
  •   Liquidity boosted by actions including accessing Spain’s Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO) facility and UK’s Coronavirus Corporate Finance Facility (CCFF). Also, British Airways’ Revolving Credit Facility extended and additional one-year bridge aircraft financing facilities agreed and implemented in quarter 2
  •   Multi-year renewal signed with American Express on July 24, including €830 million payment, a significant part of which is Avios pre-purchase
  •   Cash operating costs for quarter 2 reduced to €205 million per week, with April and May slightly lower than previously estimated at €195 million per week, despite additional cost of operating cargo-only flights
  •   Current capacity planning scenario for an increase through quarter 3 and quarter 4, to -74 percent and -46 percent versus 2019 respectively, but plans highly uncertain and subject to easing lockdowns and travel restrictions
  •   Based on our current capacity planning scenario, IAG would reach breakeven in terms of Net cash flows from operating activities during quarter 4 2020
  •   Government wage support schemes accessed in main employee bases and other measures agreed to reduce employee costs due to much-reduced flying program
  •   Capital spending for 2020 reduced by €1.5 billion, against the original plan, with 2020 fleet capital expenditure covered by committed financing
  •   Deliveries of 68 new aircraft due in 2020 to 2022 deferred and certain legacy aircraft retired early, including 32 Boeing 747s and 15 Airbus A340-600s
  •   IAG expects it will take until at least 2023 for passenger demand to recover to 2019 levels and is restructuring its cost-base to reduce each airline’s size, with consultations being undertaken locally as required
  •   Active discussions remain ongoing with Globalia regarding a potential restructuring of the Air Europa acquisition, taking into account the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Any agreed transaction would remain subject to regulatory clearances IAG period highlights on results:
  •   Passenger capacity operated in quarter 2 down 95.3 per cent on 2019 and for the six months down 56.2 percent on 2019
  •   Second quarter operating loss €1,365 million before exceptional items (2019 operating profit: €960 million) Note: Iberia is currently operating 3 A340-600s to Latin America: EC-IZY, ECJLE and EC-JNQ.
  •   Operating loss before exceptional items for the half year €1,900 million (2019 operating profit: €1,095 million)
  •   Exceptional charge in the half year of €2,137 million on derecognition of fuel and foreign exchange hedges for 2020 and impairment of fleet
  •   Loss after tax before exceptional items for the half year €1,965 million, and 2020 statutory loss after tax and exceptional items: €3,806 million (2019 profit: €806 million)
  •   Cash of €6,016 million at June 30, 2020 down €667 million on December 31, 2019. Committed and undrawn general and aircraft facilities were €2.1 billion, bringing total liquidity to €8.1 billionProposed capital increase:

 Proposed capital increase of up to €2.75 billion, to be supported by irrevocable commitment from largest shareholder and underwritten, subject to approval at General Shareholders’ Meeting in September

For definitions refer to the Alternative performance measures section.
1 The 2019 results include a reclassification of the costs the Group incurs in relation to compensation for flight delays and cancellations as a deduction from revenue as opposed to an operating expense. There is no change in operating profit. The amount reclassified for the period to June 30, 2019 was €63 million. Further information is given in note 1.
2 The prior year comparative is December 31, 2019.

Willie Walsh, IAG Chief Executive Officer, said:

“In quarter 2 we’re reporting a record operating loss of €1,365 million before exceptional items compared to an operating profit of €960 million last year. Total operating losses including exceptional items relating to the early retirement of British Airways’ Boeing 747s and Iberia’s Airbus A340s came to €2,177 million.

“We operated 1,875 cargo-only flights using passenger aircraft in quarter 2 which was an important cash contributor to the Group.

“All IAG airlines made substantial losses. As a result of government travel restrictions, quarter 2 passenger traffic fell by 98.4 per cent on a capacity reduction in the quarter of 95.3 per cent. We have seen evidence that demand recovers when government restrictions are lifted. Our airlines have put in place measures to provide additional reassurance to their customers and employees on board and at the airport.

“We continue to expect that it will take until at least 2023 for passenger demand to recover to 2019 levels. Each airline has taken actions to adjust their business and reduce their cost base to reflect forecast demand in their markets not just to get through this crisis but to ensure they remain competitive in a structurally changed industry.

“IAG continues to take action to strengthen its balance sheet and liquidity position including more than halving its operating cash costs and significantly reducing its capital spending. At the end of June liquidity stood at €8.1 billion. Based on our current capacity planning scenario, we would reach breakeven in terms of Net cash flows from operating activities during quarter 4 2020.

“Subject to shareholder approval at our AGM on September 8, IAG will undertake a capital increase of up to €2.75 billion which will enhance the Group’s resilience, balance sheet and liquidity position. We’re delighted that our largest shareholder, Qatar Airways, has already committed to support the proposed capital raising. This will best position IAG to continue executing its strategic objectives and capitalise on its existing market leading position and future growth and consolidation opportunities.”

In other news, British Airways has decided to drop the London (City) – New York Airbus A318 business route. The 32-seat A318s will be retired immediately. The unique route was last revenue flight was operated on March 18, 2020 (BA2 JFK-LCY with G-EUNA).

Video:

Top Copyright Photo: Iberia Airbus A340-642 EC-JPU (msn 744) KBP (Robbie Shaw). Image: 950772.

Iberia aircraft slide show:

 

Iberia Group unveils summer flight program with stringent new health and hygiene measures

Iberia Group has made this announcement:

  • For safe travel, disinfectant spraying of cabins, checking hand luggage without charge, boarding by rows.
  • Iberia and Iberia Express were early adopters of the recommendations made by the European Air Safety Agency (EASA) and the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC).
  • This summer, they will offer regular flights over 50 destinations in Spain and the rest of Europe

Centring on Spain and the rest of Europe, the Iberia Group’s summer flight programme to over 50 Spanish and European destinations, features new health and hygiene measures to ensure passenger safety and a pleasant travel experience, in keeping with the recommendations of the European Air Safety Agency (EASA) and the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC), intended to facilitate the recovery of air travel in a safe environment.

Here follows a summary of these measures, which are given in detail on the Iberia web site:   https://www.iberia.com/es/es/covid-19/medidas-adoptadas/  and the Iberia Express site https://i2news.iberiaexpress.com/medidas-covid/

Pre-flight: 
•    During check in passengers must sign a Declaration of Health, attesting that they have no symptoms, have not been diagnosed with Covid-19, and have not been in contact with a known carrier.
•    On flights abroad passengers must also complete a “Health Tracking Form” and a “Health Questionnaire”.
•    Only passengers holding tickets to fly will be admitted to Spanish or other European airports.
•    Passengers are strongly advised to obtain their boarding passes before reaching the airport, downloading them to their telephones in order to avoid contacts.

At the airport: 
•   All surfaces that may be touched by passengers are disinfected frequently and barriers have been placed in strategic positions at check in and customer service counters.
•   Queues for check in and other services have been redesigned to ensure distancing.
•   Passengers are strongly advised to check in their hand luggage (at no charge), in order to avoid unnecessary movements aboard the aircraft.
•   No hand luggage may be taken aboard that exceeds 56 x 40 x 25cm or 10 kg in Economy. On long-haul flights Business passengers may take two pieces of hand luggage not exceeding 14 kg.
•   For additional speed, safety, and convenience, passengers will board by rows, starting from the rear.

Other measures:
•   During flights all passengers above the age of six must wear face masks covering nose and mouth, preferably surgical ones.
•   Passengers must change their masks with the frequency indicated by the manufacturer. Bags will be provided for the storage or disposal of used masks.
•    Aircraft cabins will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before each flight..
•    Air in cabins is replaced every 2-3 minutes, and HEPA filters eliminate 99.99% of all virus and bacteria from recirculated air.

On-board services:
•   On each flight passengers will hear messages from health authorities about detecting, avoiding, and reporting symptoms of Covid-19.
•   Disinfectant wipes will be issued to all passengers, and extra supplies of hand-washing soaps will be available in toilets.
•    Single-use disposable utensils will be used in food service, which has been simplified..
•    Blankets and pillows issued on long haul flights are disinfected and sealed before use.
•   Duty-free sales and the distribution of newspapers and magazines during flights have been eliminated, but passengers can access more than 7,000 on-line publications, along with other entertainment options.
•   Outfitted in personal protection gear, Iberia cabin crews have also undergone specific training in the implementation of good health practices and special protocols, enabling them to detect and isolate any passenger showing suspicious symptoms.

Iberia to resume short and medium haul routes on July 1

  • Iberia Group airlines will initially supply 21% of seat capacity on short- and medium-haul routes, which will rise to 35% as restrictions are lifted.
  • To some 40 destinations in Spain and Europe in July and to 53 in August
  • The airline is prepared to resume long-haul flights as soon as conditions allow, and travel restrictions are lifted.
  • In June, Iberia is maintaining a minimum level of air connectivity similar to that of May connecting Madrid with some Spanish destinations in addition to London and Paris
  • All tickets purchased from now until 30 June for flights taking place until 31 December can be changed once without penalty.
  • Customers holding vouchers from previous flights may now use them for their summer vacations.

Starting on July 1, 2020, Iberia will gradually resume its short- and medium-haul flight program, with change flexibility for all customers.

The airline is also prepared to resume long-haul flights as soon as conditions allow and quarantine and travel restrictions are lifted in the countries served by Iberia.

In June, Iberia is maintaining a minimum level of air connectivity similar to that of May connecting Madrid with the Spanish Islands (Canary Islands and the Balearic), Barcelona, Bilbao, Asturias, Vigo, La Coruña, London and Paris.

In July and August Iberia, Iberia Express, and Iberia Regional will fly to at least 40 and 53 destinations, respectively, with a total of at least 194 return flights per week scheduled in July, and 359 in August.

This amounts to just 21% of normal seat supply on the short- and medium-haul network, which may rise to 35% as demand increases.

In mainland Spain, services will be resumed to Alicante, Almeria, Asturias, Barcelona, Bilbao, Granada, Jerez, La Coruña, Malaga, Pamplona, San Sebastian, Santander, Santiago, Seville, Valencia, and Vigo. The Iberia Group will also fly to Tenerife Norte, Tenerife Sur, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, and La Palma in the Canary Islands, and to Majorca, Menorca, and Ibiza in the Balearics.

Iberia will also resume European flights in July to Athens, Brussels, Dubrovnik, Geneva, Lisbon, London, Milan, Munich, Oporto, Paris, Rome, Stockholm, Venice, and Zurich, as well as to Dakar in Senegal in Africa; and in August will add Berlin, Bologna, Copenhagen, Dublin, Faro, Frankfurt, Lyon, Manchester, Marseilles, Prague, Santorini and Toulouse, as well as Marraquesh in Marocco.

Iberia aircraft photo gallery:

Iberia to offer COVID-19 antibody tests to all employees

Iberia has made this announcement:

  • Part of the company-wide health plan undertaken in cooperation with Quirónsalud and employee representatives.
  • All workers returning from furlough will be tested –some 2,500 in May alone.
  • They will be tested again 15 and 30 days after the first test.
  • PCR tests to detect active Covid-19 cases will be given to employees returning after sick leave, and to others who may have been exposed to active cases.

Iberia is to implement a special Covid-19 health plan, designed in collaboration with the Quirónsalud health care firm and employee representatives. The aim is to give all employees the most robust possible protection against the virus.

The plan calls for blood test to detect Covid-19 antibodies in employees returning to on-site work following furloughs, as well as disinfection of all workplaces, the use of PPE and other hygiene measures, teleworking wherever possible, etc.

In May alone, antibody tests performed on some 2,500 Iberia employees working in the airport and in aircraft maintenance, as well as cockpit and cabin crews. In the course of the year, the entire staff of nearly 17,000 people can be tested.

Testing, which is voluntary for employees, will be performed when they return to work after furloughs, and again 15 and 30 days later.

The tests will be carried out in Iberia health stations and on Quirónsalud premises.

PCR test, which detect current Covid-19 infections, will be performed on employees returning to work after sick leave with the virus. It will also be available for employees who have worked closely with others who have tested positive.

The company is also considering the installation of thermal cameras to screen employees for fever, among other measures.

Earlier measures Iberia has taken since the outbreak of the pandemic include:

–    New and more aggressive protocols for cleaning and sanitising aircraft, all installations, work stations toilets, all areas where people gather, and equipment.

–    Consciousness-raising campaigns to encourage hand-washing, social distancing, the use of PPE, and all other prevention measures recommended by health authorities.

–    Issuing PPE to employees.

–    Wider use of tele-working, tele-training, videoconferences, staggered entrance and leaving times when possible, redistribution of space, signage, physical barriers, etc.

Iberia announces new repatriation flights to Bangkok, Sydney, Manila, Cape Verde, Asunción and Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Iberia has made this announcement:

Vuelos repatriación
  • Another 2000 people will return home in this second wave of Iberia repatriation flights, following the 6,000 of the first wave.
  • By the end of April the Spanish airline will have made more than 30 special flights to 20 countries: Argentina, Algeria, Australia, Bolivia, Cape Verde, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Ireland, Japan, Morocco, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, Poland,  Senegal, Thailand, and Uruguay.
  • Iberia is also cooperating in the fight against Covid-19 by transporting medical supplies 
  • Iberia has also made donations to Spanish hospitals including duvets, pillows, toilet kits, disposable gowns, and disposable tableware for Covid-19 patients.

Iberia is helping another 2,000 people reach their homes in a second wave of repatriation flights this month in collaboration with Spain’s Foreign Ministry and its embassies and consulates abroad as well as the diplomatic missions in Spain of the countries of destination. In March the airline carried some 6,000 passengers on special flights, in addition to the 70,000 carried on scheduled services before the pandemic alert was declared.

Over the next two weeks the airline will fly to destinations which are new to Iberia, such as Sydney, Manila, Bangkok, Praia (Cape Verde), and Santa Cruz de la Sierra (Bolivia), chiefly to repatriate Spanish citizens from these countries.

It will also make another three repatriation flights to Peru, one to Equatorial Guinea, another to Colombia, and another three to Argentina, one with a stop neighbouring Paraguay.

“In this new wave of repatriation flights we will fly to such places as Manila, Bangkok, Sydney, and Cape Verde, where our Foreign Ministry regards it as necessary to bring Spaniards home,”said the airline’s Sales Manager for Spain, Guillermo González Vallina.

More than 8,000 homecomings

In all, by the end of April Iberia will have made more than 30 repatriation flights to return some 8,000 people, some 6,000 in the last week of March and the first week of April and another 2,000 are to fly by the end of April. Outgoing flights will carry foreigners in Spain back to their home countries.

From the start of the crisis until the end of April Iberia will have made a total of more than 30 special flights to 20 countries on five continents: Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Ireland, Japan, Morocco, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Senegal, Thailand, and Uruguay.

In addition, since the pandemic alert was declared in Spain, Iberia flew more than 70,000 people on scheduled flights to countries including the US, Mexico, Cuba, Costa Rica, Brazil, and Chile which the airline operated until the end of March.

Medical air shuttle between Spain and China

Iberia is also bringing medical supplies to Spain from China with frequent cargo flights:

  • In collaboration with the FENIN federation of Spanish medical technology companies and the high-technology Oesía Group, Iberia has made nine flights to Shanghai.
  • In collaboration with other public and private organisations, by the end of April Iberia will have made another 20 flights to pick up medical supplies in Shanghai and other Chinese cities such as Shenzhen.

In addition, the airline was instrumental in bringing 34 respirators to Spain from Brussels and Munich which were donated by small businesses to a number of Spanish hospitals.

 

Donation to hospitals

Iberia also donated material normally used aboard its flights, in collaboration with its own relief NGO Mano a Mano, ENVERA, health agencies of the Madrid Regional government, and the logistics company ALAER. The donations included:

  • 45,000 set of disposable tableware for use by Covid-19 patients at Madrid’s Ramón y Cajal hospital
  • 9,000 duvets and 2,200 pillows for the field hospital set up by Madrid health authorities at the IFEMA fairgrounds, as well as 1,400 complete toilet kits and another 20,000 units of toilet items such as toothbrushes and toothpaste, combs, and socks.
  • For the Hospital de La Paz, 300 duvets, 300 pillows, and 400 toilet kits.
  • For the Gregorio Marañón hospital, more than 5,000 disposable gowns from Iberia’s own medical service, and 1,400 barrier gowns supplied by the NGO Mano a Mano.
  • For the field hospital at the FIRA fairgrounds in Barcelona, 500 toilet kits and 500 duvets, and the loan of airport ground equipment to help set up the hospital and deliver supplies of food, medicine, and bed linen.

 

Iberia employees have been unstinting in their commitment to the timely completion of all these operations.
Iberia aircraft photo gallery:

Iberia operates 23 repatriation flights and more than 100 tons of medical supplies

Iberia has made this announcement:

  • In recent days Iberia has operated special repatriation flights to Algeria, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Morocco, Japan, Panama, Peru, Poland, Dominican Republic, Senegal, and Uruguay.
  • The airline has also made seven flights to Shanghai to pick up medical supplies arrange in collaboration with the public and private sectors.
  • From its own stocks Iberia has donated 9,000 duvets, 2,200 pillows with cases, 5,500 hospital gowns and 20,000 toilet kits including toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, socks, etc.
  • It has also loaned airport handling equipment to the Barcelona convention centre to assist in the setting up of a new hospital, and has donated 500 duvets and 540 toilet kits.

 

Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, Iberia has operated a total of 23 repatriation flights to/from Algeria, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Japan, Morocco, Panama, Peru, Poland, Dominican Republic, Senegal, and Uruguay, with the support of Spain’s Foreign Ministryand the diplomatic missions to Spain of the respective countries. These flights have enabled more than 6,000 people to reach their homes.

 

In addition, since the state of emergency was declared in Spain in mid-March, more than 70,000 people have travelled in scheduled Iberia flights to countries around the world, including the US, Mexico, Cuba, Costa Rica, Brazil, and Chile.

Medical Supplies from China

Iberia is also taking part in public-private sector collaborative schemes to bring medical supplies to Spain from China.

  • With the Spanish Federation of Health Technology Companies (FENIN), and the high-technology Oesía Group, Iberia has already operated five flights and the airline has programmed three flights each week to Shanghai.
  • Alongside the clothing maker Inditex, Iberia made a flight to Shanghai for medical supplies and another to Tokyo to pick up stranded Europeans wanting to return home.
  • In cooperation with the Spanish government, this past week Iberia made one flight to Shanghai to bring back respirators, face masks, and protective personal equipment (PPE) for Spanish hospitals.

Iberia is carrying out all these operations in collaboration with its sister company IAG Cargo, responsible for coordination with both freight forwarders and handling teams in Shanghai and Madrid airports.

In addition to cargo operations, Iberia has picked up from Brussels and Munich 34 respiratorsdonated by small businesses for the intensive care units of five Madrid hospitals.

 

Donations to hospitals

In collaboration with its own Mano a Mano international relief organisation and its ENVERA work centre from the disabled, along with Madrid regional health agencies and the ALAER logistics company, Iberia has donated the following goods to anti-COVID-19 efforts:

  • Some 9,000 duvets, 2,200 pillows with cases, and 20,000 toilet kits with toothbrush, toothpaste, combs, socks, etc. to the field hospital being set up in the Madrid IFEMA convention centre.
  • More than 5,000 disposable paper gowns from its own medical service unit to Madrid Gregorio Marañón hospital.
  • Supplied by Iberia’s Mano a Mano NGO, 1,400 barrier gowns to the Gregorio Marañón hospital.

 

Iberia has also loaned airport handling equipment to assist in the setting up of a new hospital in the Barcelona Fira convention centre, and has donated 500 duvets and 540 toilet kits for this hospital.

At a particularly difficult period for the airline business, Iberia and its staff are committed to continuing to serve the country and to lend support to the people who need it most.

 

Photos of the Day: Iberia aircraft stack up at the Madrid base

Robbie Shaw reports from Madrid:

Iberia Airlines aircraft (and some from other IAG carriers) are currently being parked at the Madrid (MAD) hub and maintenance base.

Iberia made this announcement on March 28:

In recent days we have repatriated more than 6.000 people on special flights alone, most of them Spanish who were in Latin America, and we have also opened a health corridor with China for transportation of material. All of this, thanks to the work of the crew who are flying on these planes, most of them volunteers.

Copyright Photos: Robbie Shaw.

IAG’s airlines to reduce capacity by 75%

IAG has issued this statement:

The rapid spread of COVID-19, and associated government travel restrictions and advisories are having a significant and increasingly negative impact on the demand for global air traffic on almost all routes operated by IAG’s airlines.

To date IAG has suspended flights to China, reduced capacity on Asian routes, cancelled all flights to, from and within Italy and made various changes to our network.

The US Presidential announcement to restrict entry of foreign nationals who have been in countries in the Schengen Area, the UK and Ireland has added to the uncertainty on North Atlantic routes. In addition, many other countries have banned or are restricting inward travel including Argentina, Chile, India and Peru. Spain has also been the subject of travel advisories, for example by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

IAG is implementing further initiatives in response to this challenging market environment. Capacity, in terms of available seat kilometres, in the first quarter of 2020 is now expected to be reduced by around 7.5 percent compared to last year. For April and May, the Group plans to reduce capacity by at least 75 percent compared to the same period in 2019.

IAG is also taking actions to reduce operating expenses and improve cash flow. These include grounding surplus aircraft, reducing and deferring capital spending, cutting non-essential and non-cyber related IT spend, freezing recruitment and discretionary spending, implementing voluntary leave options, temporarily suspending employment contracts and reducing working hours.

Given the continued uncertainty on the potential impact and duration of COVID-19, it is still not possible to give accurate profit guidance for the full year 2020.

The Group has strong liquidity with cash, cash equivalents and interest-bearing deposits of €7.35 billion as at March 12, 2020. In addition, undrawn general and committed aircraft backed financing facilities amount to €1.9 billion, resulting in total liquidity of €9.3 billion.

Willie Walsh, IAG’s chief executive, said: “We have seen a substantial decline in bookings across our airlines and global network over the past few weeks and we expect demand to remain weak until well into the summer. We are therefore making significant reductions to our flying schedules. We will continue to monitor demand levels and we have the flexibility to make further cuts if necessary. We are also taking actions to reduce operating expenses and improve cash flow at each of our airlines. IAG is resilient with a strong balance sheet and substantial cash liquidity.”

In light of the exceptional circumstances facing the aviation industry due to COVID-19, and in particular the developing situation in Spain, it has been decided that Luis Gallego will continue in his role as Iberia chief executive for the next few months to lead the response in Spain. In the meantime, Willie Walsh will continue to act as Group chief executive and Javier Sanchez will remain in place as Vueling chief executive.

Antonio Vázquez, IAG´s chairman, said: “As we respond to COVID-19, Willie, Luis and the board of IAG have decided that management stability across the Group should be a priority in the near term. We are grateful that Willie has agreed to delay his retirement for a short period at this challenging time.”

Stephen Gunning
Chief Financial Officer

Iberia aircraft photo gallery: