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7JetSet7 Code: IBE
Status: Operational
Region: EUROPE
Country: SPAIN
Employees 16564
Web: iberia.com
Email: infoib@iberia.es
Telephone: +34 91 587 8787
Fax: +34 91 587 7043

Click below for data links:
IBE-2013-10 - NEW LIVERY
IBE-2013-11 - NEW LIVERY
IBE-2015-05 - MAD to PGF CRJ200.jpg
IBE-2015-09 - MAD to MAN.jpg
IBE-2015-11 - A330-200 Order.jpg
IBE-2018-04 Inflight-VR.jpg
IBE-View Ronda, Spain









196,000 TONNES (178,150 T) CARGO INCREASE TO SPAIN +39%, USA +31%, EUROPE +25%.


1ST OF 8 A340-313'S DELIVERY.






3RD A340-300 (CFM56-5C4) DELIVERY.







FISCAL YEAR (FY) 1996 = +$28 MILLION (-$360 MILLION).





AUGUST 1997: 1 747-200 (JT9D-7A) (20924), (AID) WET-LEASED THROUGH 12/97. 1 L-1011-1 (204), AER TURAS (YQT) LEASED UNTIL OCTOBER 1997.



2 757-236S (22185; 23227), (AMEX) LEASED.



DECEMBER 1997: DC-9-32 (47313) LEASED TO AUSTRAL (ALA). 757-236 (24794) RETURNED TO AIR EUROPA (ARE).


TO WET-LEASE AIR EUROPA (ARE) 3 737'S, 6 757'S, & 2 767'S, STARTING IN APRIL 1998. 1 A320-231 (308), ORIX (OXA) LEASED.

FEBRUARY 1998: $4 BILLION ORDERS 9 A319'S, 36 A320'S, 31 A321'S, INCLUDING 26 OPTIONS A319/A320/A321'S. +8/14 757-200 ORDERS CONFIRMED. 2 767-300ER'S (VN546; VN547), EX-ASIANA (AAR), (GEH) LEASED.


APRIL 1998: 4 DC-10-30'S (46556; 46557; 46972; 46982), EX-(VIA).



747-133 (20014), AIR ATLANTA ICELANDIC (AID) LEASED. 8TH A340-313X (217) DELIVERY.


EMPLOYEES (K): 11 QAN 30; 12 SIA 28; 13 KLM 27; 14 SWA 25; 15 TWA
25; 16 SVA 25; 17 IND 23; 18 IBE 22; 19 SAS 22; 20 ACN 22.

NET ($MILLION): 17 CINTRA 242 (273); 18 SWS 223 (343); 19 CAT 219
(493); 20 QAN 198 (186); 21 GUN 137 (87); 22 ASA 127 (75);
23 AFC 120; 24 IBE 110 (23); 25 ANZ 105 (150); 26 TII 101.

(RPK) (TRAFFIC) (BILLION): 16 TWA 41; 17 KAL 40; 18 CAT 39; 19 ACN 37; 20 ALI 36; 21 TII 31; 22 MAS 29; 23 IBE 27.7; 24 SWS 27.5.

PASSENGERS (PAX) (MILLION): 13 ALI 25; 14 TWA 24; 15 SAS 21; 16 QAN 19; 17 AMW 18; 18 JAS 17; 19 IBE 15.4; 20 GUN 15.2; 21 TII 15.0.


9 ORDERS (MAY 1999) A319'S & 7 ORDERS A320'S, (ILF) LEASED. 2 ORDERS (MAY 1999) A320'S (CFM56-5P4/P), SALE (SIL) LEASED.










DECEMBER 1998: RETURNED 2 737-400'S TO AIR EUROPA (ARE) AND TOOK 2 757-200'S IN THEIR PLACE. PARTED OUT 3 727-200'S. 2 747-200B'S, EX-(CAT), AIR ATLANTA ICELANDIC (AID) WET-LEASED FOR SERVICE TO HAVANA FOR 2 YEARS. ACQUIRES 1 737-3K9 (28489) AND 8 737-36E'S (24211; 25159; 25256; 25263; 25264; 26315; 26317; 26322; 27626) FROM OUT-OF-BUSINESS VIVA (VIV).



FEBRUARY 1999: 1998 = +$260 MILLION: 32.5 BILLION (RPK) TRAFFIC (+6.7%), 71.5% LF LOAD FACTOR, 766.5 MILLION (FTK) FREIGHT TRAFFIC (+5.8%), 21.75 MILLION PASSENGERS (PAX) (+5.5%). 25,291 EMPLOYEES.



2 747-200'S (RB211) (22429; 22530), EX-CATHAY (CAT), AIR ATLANTA ICELANDIC (AID) 18 MONTH WET-LEASED.



(info@iberia.com). SITA: MADPRIB.


4 727-256'S (20594; 20597; 20599; 20605), STORED AT OPALOCKA. BABCOCK & BROWN (BBB), PURCHASED 8/8 757-200'S (26247; 26248; 26249; 26250; 26251; 26252; 26253; 26254) AND LEASED BACK TO (IBE). 2 757-200'S (RB211-535E4) DELIVERIES.


JUNE 1999: 1ST 2 A320-214'S (992, EC-HAD; 994, EC-HAB), (ILF) LEASED.

16 CAT 25.26; 17 TWA 24.42; 18 ACN 23.21; 19 ALI 22.10; 20 TII 21.34; 21 IBE 20.19; 22 KAL 19.95; 23 MAS 18.25; 24 SWS 17.43; 25 CDI 16.70; 26 AMW 16.36.



AUGUST 1999: IBERIA (IBE) GROUP FISCAL YEAR (FY) 1998 = +$318 MILLION (+$68 MILLION) (+367.6%): 32.52 BILLION (RPK) TRAFFIC (+17.7%), 21.75 MILLION PASSENGERS (PAX) (+41%), 71.4% LF LOAD FACTOR (-1.8). 1998 (IBE) = +$235.2 MILLION (+$75.7 MILLION): 20.19 BILLION (RPM) TRAFFIC (+17.6%), 2.54 BILLION (FTM) FREIGHT TRAFFIC (+11.9%).

757-256 (26249, EC-HAA), & 2 A320-214'S (1047, EC-HAF "SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA;" 1059, EC-HAG) DELIVERIES.





A320-214 (1087), (ILF) LEASED.


2 A320-214'S (1101, EC-HDP; 1119, EC-HDT), DELIVERIES.


757-200 (26251, EC-HDR "SOR JUANA DE LA CRUZ") DELIVERY. A340-313X (302, EC-HDQ) DELIVERY. A300B4-120 (130) & A300B4-2C (77) BROKEN UP.








IN 2000, TO DELIVER 8 757'S, 15 A320'S, AND 3 A340'S TO REPLACE AGING 727'S & DC-10'S. 767-300ER'S REPLACED A340'S FOR DAILY MADRID TO CHICAGO (ORD). A319-111 (1180, EC-HGS) & A340-313X (318, "MARIA DE MOLINA") DELIVERIES. +1 ORDER A340 (15TH).



737-36E (25263) SOLD TO (GEH). 737-3K9 (24211) RETURNED TO BAVARIA (BAV) LEASING. 1 747-300, AIR ATLANTA ICELANDIC (AID) WET-LEASED. 757-256 (29306, EC-HIP), A320-214 (1200, EC-HGY), & 2 A340-313X'S (329, EC-HGV "MARIA GUERRERO;" 332, EC-HGW), DELIVERIES.







1999 = +$153.58 MILLION (+$319.03 MILLION): 35.38 BILLION (RPK) TRAFFIC (+.5%); 61.8% LF LOAD FACTOR; 823 MILLION (FTK) FREIGHT (+1.2%); 24.27 MILLION PASSENGERS (PAX) (-3%); 29,079 EMPLOYEES (+5%).


TRAFFIC (RPK) (BILLION): 19 TII 38.5; 20 ALI 36.7; 21 KAL 36.7; 22
IBE 35.4; 23 SWS 34.7; 24N MAS 32.2; 25 AMW 28.5.

NET ($ MILLION) PROFIT: 16 SAS 217; 17 AMW 201; 18 ASA 196; 19 JAL 187; 20 SWS 171; 21 IBE 154; 22 ACN 147; 23 TII 140; 24 ANZ 114.

EMPLOYEES (K): 8 AFA 55.2; 9 BAB 53.1; 10 NWA 51.8; 11 CAL 44.1;
12 USA 41.6; 13 IBE 29.1; 14 SWA 27.7; 15 SIA 27.4.

SELLS 9 727-200'S (20595; 20602; 20606; 20811; 21609; 21610; 21611; 21779; 21781) TO REPUBLIC FINANCIAL, MAJORITY TO BE CONVERTED TO FREIGHTERS. 2 757-256'S (29308, EC-HIR; 29309, EC-HIS "SALVADOR") & 2 A320-214'S (1255, EC-HHC "MAR MENOR;" 1262, EC-HKI), DELIVERIES. 2 DC-9-32'S (47461; 47542) RETIRED. PLANS TO RETIRE ITS 5 DC-10-30'S BY THE END OF 2000.

AUGUST 2000: 1 757-256 (29310, EC-HIT) & 2 A320-214 (1278, EC-HKJ; 1288, EC-HKK), DELIVERIES. DC-10-30 (46972) PARTED OUT.




1 757-256 (29311, EC-HIU "COLUMBIA") & 1 A320-214 (1292, EC-HKL "GETARIA") DELIVERIES.



3 757-256'S (26240; 26241; 26245) TO RETURN TO AIR EUROPA (ARE). 2 DC-10-30'S (46972, PARTED OUT; 47834, RETIRED). 1 A319-111 (1362, EC-HKO) & 1 A320-214 (1347, EC-HKN) DELIVERIES.

DECEMBER 2000: 3 747-341'S (24106, 24107, "GONZALO DE BERCEO" & 24108 "JOSE ZORILLA"), EX-VARIG (VAR), AIR ATLANTA ICELANDIC (AID) 4 YEAR LEASED, AND 2 747-256'S (22454; 22455), SOLD TO (AID) AND WET-LEASED BACK FOR 18 MONTHS. 757-256 (30052, EC-HIX) DELIVERY. 3 ORDERS (FEBRUARY 2002) A340-300'S, 249 PAX.



2 727-256'S (21609; 21610), SOLD TO REPUBLIC FINANCIAL. 2 747-256B'S (22454; 22455), LEASED TO (AID) AND WET-LEASED BACK. 1 A340-313X (387, EC-HQF "MARIA DE ZAYAS Y SOTOMAYOR") & 1 A320-214 (1379, EC-HQG) DELIVERIES.

18 TII 26.25; 19 ALI 25.24; 20 KAL 25.15; 21 IBE 24.87; 22 MAS 23.58; 23 MAS 23.6.


1 727-256 (21781) SOLD TO REPUBLIC FINANCIAL. 1 A320-214 (1396, EC-HQI), (ILF) LEASED.

MARCH 2001: 1 A320-214 (1430, EC-HQJ) & 1 A340-313X (387, EC-HQH "MARIANA DE SILVA") DELIVERIES.








727-256'S (20594; 20597; 20599; 20605) PARTED OUT. 1 747-267 (22149), EX-CATHAY (CAT), AIR ATLANTA ICELANDIC (AID) WET-LEASED UNTIL FEBRUARY 2002. 1 A320-214 (1484, EC-HQM "RIO JUCAR") DELIVERY.

JULY 2001: 1 A320-214 (1516, EC-HTA) & 1 A340-313X (414, EC-HQN "LUISA CARVAJAL Y MENDOZA") DELIVERIES. 1 A321-211 (1554, EC-HTE) DELIVERY.



2 A320-214'S (1530, EC-HTB; 1540, EC-HTC) & 1 A321-211 (1572, EC-HTF) DELIVERIES.


OCTOBER 2001: TO CUT -3,000 JOBS.






1 UAL 116.60; 2 AAL 106.15; 3 DAL 97.60; 4 NWA 73.11; 5 BAB 64.24; 6 AFA 59.54; 7 CAL 58.76; 8 DLH 56.76; 9 JAL 50.77; 10 USA 45.93; 11 SWA 44.50; 12 SIA 42.76; 13 QAN 42.14; 14 ACN 41.49; 15 KLM 35.76; 16 ANA 33.16; 17 CAT 27.81; 18 TII 27.43; 19 IBE 25.64; 20 KAL 23.73; 21 ALI 22.45; 22 MAS 22.29; 23 AMW 19.06; 24 VAA 17.65; 25 VAR 16.02; 26 CHI 16.00; 27 EAD 14.37; 28 SAS 14.26; 29 ANZ 13.54; 30 SAA 12.70; 31 SVA 12.56; 32 BEJ 12.39; 33 ASA 12.23; 34 JAS 10.06; 35 THY 9.35; 36 AMX 8.51; 37 PAL 8.36; 38 GIA 8.15; 39 CMA 7.99; 40 ELA 7.79; 41 GUL 7.65; 42 PIA 7.24; 43 AIN 7.10; 44 TAP 6.43; 45 EGP 5.53; 46 OLY 5.24; 47 AUL 5.06; 48 FIN 4.93; 49 IND 4.52; 50 CQT 4.51.



APRIL 2002: 26,814 EMPLOYEES.



2 A321-211's (1681, EC-ILO; 1716) delivered, and put in storage.

June 2002: 3 orders (June 2003) A340-600's (Trent 500), 10F, 42C, 249Y, will replace wet-leased 747-300's, on routes to Mexico City, and Buenos Aires.

2001 Top World Airlines by Traffic (RPK) (Billions):
1 UAL 187.67; 2 AAL 170.88; 3 DAL 163.66; 4 NWA 117.66; 5 BAB 106.27; 6 CAL 98.37; 7 AFA 94.42; 8 DLH 86.70; 9 JAL 84.27; 10 USA 73.93; 11 SWA 71.59; 12 SIA 69.15; 13 QAN 67.89; 14 ACN 67.03; 15 KLM 57.85; 16 ANA 56.90; 17 CAT 44.79; 18 TII 44.04; 19 IBE 41.30; 20 KAL 38.45; 21 MAS 38.31; 22 ALI 36.52; 23 SWS 32.98; 24 TWA 31.85; 25 AMW 30.69.

Iberia (IBE) 2001: +$46.76 million (+$179.37 million): 41.30 billion (RPK) traffic (+1.5%); 70.8% LF load factor; 24.93 million passengers (PAX) (+1.6%); 851.84 million (FTK) freight traffic (+.7%); 28,320 employees (+5.6%).

July 2002: 75 years anniversary!

Now 1,000 daily flights to 97 destinations in 39 countries.

Joins the Qualiflyer frequent-flier program, which survived the collapse of Swissair (SWS), bringing participating airlines to 18.

A320-214 (1736, EC-ILQ "LA PEDRERA"), delivery.

August 2002: To Cartagena (weekly). With OneWorld (ONW) partners (QAN) and (LAN), plans to add Madrid to Beirut to Denpasar to Sydney with (LAN) A340-300 operations).

2 DC-9-34F'S (47706; 47707) sold to Comtran International (CII).

September 2002: Heading for full privatization after Spanish state holding company, (SEPI) states it will sell its remaining 5% stake.

Code share with Lithuanian (LIJ) from Madrid and Paris to Vilnius.

2 A320-214's (1793, EC-ILR "San Juan de la Pena;" 1809, EC-ILS) deliveries.

October 2002: A dense domestic route system generates as much as a 3rd of (IBE)'s $4.7 billion annual revenues; European city-pairs provide another 3rd, while the remainder comes from long-haul services. However, long-haul routes typically generate 50% of the company's profits; Europe 30%; & domestic routes 20%. Proposed high-speed train service between (IBE)'s busiest city-pair, Madrid to Barcelona is a big concern. (IBE)'s home base is space-constrained, but additional runway capacity is scheduled for the end of 2003. If the current growth plan is implemented, Barajas in the longer term, will evolve into a 5-runway airport. Additional passenger terminals are also being planned to gradually raise capacity to 80 million passenger/year from the 33.8 million in 2001.

(IBE)'s exposure to the North Atlantic is limited with services only to San Juan, New York, Chicago, and Miami. Miami is used as a mini-hub to various Latin American cities, and (IBE) bases 4 A319's from Miami for connecting flights to other points. Focusing on its core strengths is the way to move forward for (IBE), despite the fact that it implies retaining unstable South America as a primary business target.

Previous plans to replace 6 aging 747-200's have been postponed. 3 747-300's will be replaced with A340-600's in 2003, 18 757's will be phased out in 2004, and most likely replaced by A319's, while 24 MD-87's and 13 MD-88's will be retained until 2007.

November 2002: Plans to offer a low-cost, no-frills service between Spain and the UK.

Code share with Swiss International Air Lines (CSR), Basel, Geneva, & Zurich to Barcelona, Madrid. In January 2003, code share with Dutch Caribbean Express (ALM), Caracas to Curacao.

(IBE) Maintenimiento signed contracts to maintain airplanes by Turkish (THY), Freebird (FBR), including components and conduct repairs & complete overhauls of MD-83 engines, and Air Anatolia (TOI) 757's.

Shows interest in taking a stake in (TAP) Air Portugal.

+1 order (February 2006) A320 (ITS 59th). 1 A321-211 (1836, EC-IJN "Merida") delivery. DC-9-34 (929-48105) sold to Comtran International (CII).

December 2002: Board approves (IBE) strategic plan for 2003 to 2005 intended to "consolidate profitability, achieve growth with flexibility, and boost productivity" taking into account opportunities and challenges, such as the opening of new runways at Madrid and Barcelona, the new passenger terminal at Barajas airport, and the advent of a high-speed traion service between Madrid and Barcelona. In the next 3 years, (IBE) intends to increase seat capacity (ASK)'s by 22%, comprised of rises of 4% in 2003, 6% in 2004, and 12% in 2005. The plan also calls for a -15% reduction in costs by 2005, and a +9% boost in utilization. The target for return on equity is 15% by 2005. (IBE) will invest EUR 1.5 billion/$1.5 billion in the 3 year period, mainly in fleet upgrading and expansion.

6 MD-87's "C" checks by Meridiana (ALS). 5 DC-10-30's (46556; 46593; 46892; 47834; 47980) sold to Firstport Internaional, Spain. A340-313X (483, EC-IIH "Maria Barbara de Braganza"), delivery.

January 2003: 2002 = +EUR 159.8 million/+$172 million (+EUR 53.1 million): 40.47 billion (RPK) traffic (-2.2%); 23.92 million passengers (PAX) (-4.2%). At the end of 2002, Iberia (IBE)'s operational fleet comprised 147 airplanes of which 48 were owned, 13 were under financial leases, and 86 were under operational leases.

9/3 orders (February 2004) A340-600 to replace 9 747's. As part of the deal, Airbus (EDS) provided a residual value guarantee.

February 2003: Extended its code share with British Airways (BAB) for London Heathrow (LHR) to Seville, Valencia, Malaga, Santiago de Compostela, and Bilbao. Also London Gatwick (LGW) to Madrid, Barcelona, and Bilbao. Also with (BAB) franchise partner, GB Airways (GBA), (LGW) to Almenia, Girona to Costa Brava, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Mahon to Menorca, Malaga, Seville, and Valencia, plus (LHR) to Malaga.

In March 2003, Madrid to San Pedro Sula. Will cut capacity of domestic, & European routes by -4%.

Will defer delivery of 3 A320's.

March 2003: Increases number of weekly frequencies on its Madrid to San Jose, Costa Rica service, operating 747's to Miami and A319's from Miami to San Jose.

26,200 employees. (infoib@iberia.com). SITA: MADPRIB.

MD-88 (53546, TC-ONM "YASEMIN"), Onur Air (ONU) wet-leased.

May 2003: Will widen code share with Swiss International (CSR) to include flights from Spain to Budapest and Nuremberg, via Zurich, plus flights to Vienna, via Zurich. (CSR) will offer flights from Switzerland to Oporto, Valencia, Seville, and Bilbao, by adding its code to Iberia (IBE) flights to those cities from Madrid and Barcelona.

Fernando Conte Chairman, 53 replaces Xabier de Irala, who resigned after 7 years.

June 2003: 1st A340-642 (431, EC-INO "Gaudi"), 10F, 42C, 300Y, delivery. Has a range of 12,700 km. Takes 13 hours flight, Madrid to Santiago, Chile.

July 2003: SITA: MADPRIB.

2002 = 40.47 billion (RPK) traffic (-2.2%); -5.2% (ASK) capacity; 73% LF load factor (+2.3); 23.9 million passengers (PAX) (-4.2%); 850 million (FTK) freight traffoc (-5.5%); 25,574 employees (-4.9%).

1 (AAL) 195.81; 2 (UAL) 176.15; 3 (DAL) 152.66; 4 (NWA) 115.91; 5 (BAB) 99.71; 6 (AFA) 96.80; 7 (CAL) 95.51; 8 (DLH) Grp 88.57; 9 (JAL) 83.54; 10 (QAN) 75.23; 11 (SWA) 73.05; 12 (SIA) 71.12; 13 (ACN) 69.42; 14 (USA) 69.42; 15 (KLM) 58.89; 16 (ANA) 52.97; 17 (CAT) 49.04; 18 (TII) 48.51; 19 (KAL) 41.80; 20 (IBE) 40.47; 21 (MAS) 36.90; 22 (AMW) 31.98; 23 (SAS) Grp 30.91; 24 (EAD) 30.17; 25 (ALI) 29.84.

Will use (ARINC)'s MUSE Link wide-area network service to support its passengers and back-office operations at 4 airports: Milan Malpensa; Milan Linate; London Heathrow; & Manchester.

Iberia (IBE) Cargo implemented a new Information Technology (IT) system that will allow the continuous tracking of mail shipments carried on (IBE) airplanes.

August 2003: Selected (ARINC) to deliver a package of Satellite communications services for passengers and crew on its entire fleet of long-haul airplanes, including new A340-600's.

2nd A340-642 (440, EC-IOB "Pablo Picasso") delivery. Will replace its 747's on intercontinental routes to the USA.

October 2003: 747-256B (22455, EC-IAF) withdrawn from use (WFU) at Madrid. A321-211 (1716, EC-ILP "Peniscola") delivery. A340-642 (460, EC-IQR "Salvador Dali") delivery.

November 2003: Code share with Maersk (MRS) on Copenhagen to Barcelona/Madrid.

December 2003: European Commission (EC) OK's alliance between (BAB), Iberia (IBE) & (BAB) franchise partner GB Airways (GBA).

Sells its 51% stake in Viva Tours along with the trademark of the same name, to Iberojet for EUR 18 million/$22.05 million.

+2 orders (February 2005) A340-600 (ILF) leased.

January 2004: A321-211 (2115, EC-ITN), delivery.

February 2004: Signed a code-sharing agreement with Mexican (CMA) covering 30 destinations in Mexico from Mexico City and Cancun, and a dozen others in the USA & Canada, as well as 34 destinations in Spain, 31 elsewhere in Europe, and 6 in Africa and the Middle East. Code share with GB Airways (GBA) Fuerteventura, Ibiza, Murcia, Tenerife (Norte) to London Gatwick (LGW). Extends its code share with British Airways (BAB) to Dubai, Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver and with Comair (CML) to Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth, while (BAB) will add its code to Iberia (IBE) flights between Barcelona & Munich.

Madrid to Marrakech (A320).

2 orders (June 2004) A330-200's (TAM) Brazil (TPR) 2 year leased.

March 2004: A320-214 (1793, EC-ILR "San Juan de la Pena") delivery after storage since September 2002.

April 2004: Will install Tenzing's new high-speed e-mail and instant messaging service in business class (C) on its long-haul fleet of A340-500/-600's starting in October 2004.

Madrid to Beirut (A320, 3x-weekly). In June 2004, Madrid to Lagos (3x-weekly). Madrid to Cairo (3x-weekly). In July 2004, Madrid to Montevideo (A340-300, 3x-weekly nonstop) (20th Latin American destination).

747-256B (22764) WFU at Madrid. 2 orders (June 2004) 747-412's (736-24063, TF-ANA; 761-24065, TF-ANB), Singapore (SIA) leased, Air Atlanta Icelandic (AID) wet-leased. A321-211 (2220, EC-IXD) delivery.

June 2004: Fernando Conte Chairman & (CEO) has been appointed the new Chairman of the OneWorld (ONW) governing board.

Implements interline e-ticketing with OneWorld (ONW) partners American Airlines (AAL) and Aer Lingus (ARL).

In July 2004, Barcelona to Lisbon (A320, 150 PAX, daily).

Amadeus acquires a controlling 55% stake in travel portal Opodo for EUR 62 million/$74.5 million in cash. Opodo was created by 9 European network airlines: Aer Lingus (ARL); Air France (AFA); Alitalia (ALI); Austrian Airlines (AUL); British Airways (BAB); Finnair (FIN); Iberia (IBE); (KLM); & Lufthansa (DLH) whose stakes will be reduced in proportion to the investment by Amadeus. The 3 biggest shareholders: (AFA); (BAB) & (DLH) will hold 10.3% each, while the shareholdings of (ARL) & (AUL) will be diluted to 0.51% each. Amadeus, which is majority owned by (AFA); (IBE) & (DLH), said Opodo will continue to operate as a separate company.

OneWorld (ONW) Alliance now: Aer Lingus (ARL); American (AAL); British Airways (BAB); Cathay Pacific (CAT); Finnair (FIN); Iberia (IBE); LAN (LAN); & Qantas (QAN).

A320-214 (2225, EC-IZH) delivery.

July 2004: Code share with Cathay Pacific (CAT), Amsterdam to Hong Kong, & Amsterdam to Madrid & Barcelona.

Plans to restructure its Central America operations and as a result will give up its minihub at Miami International Airport (4 A319's based there for operations to 7 destinations in Latin America). Instead, in October 2004, Spain to Guatemala & Panama (A340, direct), connecting to San Jose, Cancun, San Pedro Sula, San Salvador, & Managua (operated by "associated airlines").

A320-214 (2242, EC-IZR) delivery.

August 2004: In October 2004, Madrid to San Jose (Costa Rica) (A340, daily). Madrid to Guatemala, Panama City.

Code sharing and traffic distribution agreement with (TACA) (TAC) to San Jose via Miami (daily), San Jose to Panama City (4x-weekly), San Jose to Managua (daily), to San Pedro Sula via San Jose &/or Miami (daily), to El Salvador via San Jose &/or Miami &/or Havana (daily), plus to Guatemala City via Miami &/or San Jose.

Maintenance contract with China Southern (GUN) to inspect and repair and major overhaul 757-200 (RB211-535E4) engines.

A319-111 (2264, EC-JAZ "Fontibre"), A320-214 (2248), & A321-211 (2270) deliveries.

September 2004: Selects Tenzing to provide e-mail/instant messaging service for business class (C) on up to 30 A340's.

Valencia to Vigo, & Paris (MD-87). Expands its code share with Royal Air Maroc (RAM) over Casablanca to Agadir, Fez, Laayoune, Ouarzate, and Oujda & on (RAM) services from Casablanca to Gran Canaria & Malaga, Marrakech, and Tangiers to Barcelona, and from Agadir & Laayoune to Gran Canaria. (RAM) will code share on Iberia (IBE) flights between Madrid and Alicante, Bilbao, Palma de Mallorca, Santiago de Compestela, Seville, & Valencia, which connect services to Casablanca. In January 2005, Malaga, Valencia to Milan (MXP) (A319, daily).

October 2004: Air France (AFA) (23.36%), Iberia (IBE) (18.5%), & Lufthansa (DLH) (5.05%) have begun their sale of their 46.91% shareholding in Amadeus Global Travel Distribution.

A340-642 (601, EC-IZX "Mariano Benlliure") delivery.

November 2004: Code share with SN Brussels (DAT), Brussels to Madrid to Seville (daily).

States it is interested in bidding for Aeromexico (AMX) and Mexicana (CMA).

2 A340-642's (604, EC-IZY "Ignacia de Zuloaga;" 606, EC-JBA "Joaquin Rodrigo") deliveries.

December 2004: Is extending its restructuring plan to 2007, and will have -2,000 to -2,500 job cuts, with redundancies voluntary from workers >58 years old.

In March 2005, Madrid to Moscow (A319, daily).

2 A319-111's (2365, EC-JDL) & A321-211 (2357, EC-JDM) deliveries.

January 2005: Maintenance agreement with Sosoliso Airlines (YNQ) to perform inspections, repairs, and modification of components on its MD-80's.

February 2005: Broadens its code share with Mexican (CMA), whereby Iberia (IBE) will place its code on (CMA) flights from Mexico City to Oaxaca & Merida, while (CMA) will begin code sharing on (IBE)'s flights between Madrid and both Malaga and Santiago de Compostela.

$4 billion 30/49 Airbus (EDS) orders (February 2006): 15 A318's, 9 A320's, 6 A321's; will replace 7 757's, 19 MD-87's, & 13 MD-88's. A320-214 (2347) & A321-211 (2381) deliveries.

March 2005: Selects Moscow's Domodedovo Airport ahead of former international gateway Sheremetyevo as its base for services to the Russian capital. It was chosen because it meets European quality standards. Launched daily services with A319, 126 passengers.

April 2005: 3 A320-214's (2143, EC-JFG; 2104, EC-JFH; 2391, EC-JFH), deliveries. 2 A320-214's (2248 XA-UDU; 2347, XA-UDT), leased to Mexicana (CMA).

May 2005: Avianca (AVI) and Iberia (IBE) expand their code share agreements for (IBE) to add its code to (AVI) flights between Bogota and Barranquilla, Bucaramanga, & Armenia, while (AVI) code is added to (IBE) flights between Madrid and La Coruna, Santiago, Vigo, Oviedo, Bilbao, San Sebastian, Pamplona, Majorca, Malaga, & Seville, plus Las Palmas & Tenerife.

26,314 employees (including 1,920 Fight Crew (FC); 4,619 Cabin Attendants (CA); & 73 Maintenance Technicians (MT)).

2004 = +EUR 220 million (+51%) (+EUR 146 million). Intends to pay its shareholders a significant extraordinary dividend out of the capital gains from the sale of its stake in Amadeus, which should bring the airline about +EUR 600 million/+$750.6 million.

A320-214 (994), returned to (ILF), leased to Shenzhen Airlines (SHZ). A321-211 (2472, EC-JGS "Guadelupe"), delivery.

June 2005: Teamed up with OnAir (joint venture between Airbus & SITA) to provide e-mail and Web chat services for its business class (C) on long-haul routes starting with its A340-600's. Will charge $9.95 per flight for unlimited use of the service, or $4.95 for up to 4 hours of usage with extra charge to download e-mail attachments. This service will be based on Swift64 satellite communications and will have the potential to migrate to Inmarsat's SwiftBroadand when it ecomes fully operational in 2007. Several other carriers offer the services, among them Asiana Airlines (AAR), (KLM), Emirates (EAD), Northwest Airlines (NWA), Cathay Pacific (CAT), Malaysia Airlines (MAS), & Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA).

Increases capacity (ASK) by 59% on Madrid to Beirut (3/week) by switching from A319, 126 passengers to 757-200, 200 passengers.

30 orders (February 2006) A320-200 (CFM56-5B). 13th A321-211 (2488, EC-JDR) delivery. A340-642 (672, EC-JFX) delivery.

July 2005: Codeshare with Royal Air Maroc (RAM), Barcelona - Marrakech (weekly, Saturdays), plus direct service Barcelona - Casablanca & Tangiers.

$4.5 Billion, 10 orders A318's, 7 orders A319's, 10 orders A320's, and 3 orders A321's, with 49 options.

August 2005: 24,677 employees (+1%).

September 2005: Iberia Cargo (IBE) is using a new refrigeration chamber facility at Madrid Barajas to store flowers before their transshipment to other Spanish cities and Central European destinations. (IBE) said it transports "about 13.5% of all the flowers carried between Latin America and Europe."

October 2005: Iberia Airlines (IBE), as expected, unveiled its three-year 2006 - 2008 Director Plan aimed at increasing productivity and revenues while reducing costs, largely through a combination of layoffs, outsourcing and automation. The plan aims to cut the airline's costs by -€600 million/-$726 million over the three-year period. The plan also calls for a three-year wage freeze, "linking payroll increases to results."

On the revenue side, the company aims to build its long-haul business travel, taking particular advantage of its leading position between Europe and Latin America. It wants to boost its business class share from 18.8% through the launch of a new Business Plus class and a new onboard service model.

In the economy segment, Iberia (IBE) aims to introduce a new revenue management system that will allow revenue optimization on a route-by-route, flight-by-flight basis. Smaller "but more comfortable" seats will be installed in economy cabins. Another goal is to increase the share of direct ticket sales from 18.5% to 37% by 2008.

The plan also calls for a reduction in staff in all areas and outsourcing "a large proportion of low-skill jobs in airport handling and aircraft maintenance areas." Measures "are especially necessary in flight operations" to bring productivity and costs in line with those of competitors. Greater use will be made of automation tools such as ticket kiosks and online check-in.

Iberia (IBE) also intends to pursue aggressively opportunities in third-party maintenance, particularly for high-value-added services chiefly involving engines and components. In total, the Director Plan identified 230 measures to improve profitability.

(IBE) plans to cut -2,164 jobs, representing -9% of its workforce, under the "2005 - 2008 Director Plan" that is aimed at boosting its profit by +€600 million/+$716.3 million over the next three years. According to a presentation to analysts yesterday, +€126 million in improvement will come from changes to the network, a further +€163 from revenue enhancement, including new revenue management systems and greater concentration on high-yield business traffic, and the remaining +€301 million from savings across the company including labor cost reductions.

Of the job cuts, -867 will come from flightcrew (FC) comprising -203 cockpit positions and -664 cabin staff (CA). Ground staff eliminations will number -1,298. The job cuts will take place by the end of 2008. (IBE) also plans to pare its fleet from 152 planes to 132.

The carrier also announced that nine-month earnings rose +170.9% to +€402 million on a gain on the sale of shares in Amadeus. Nine-month revenue was up an anemic +2.4% to €3.67 billion against a +3.5% increase in operating costs, pushing down (EBIT) -23.5% to €109 million.

Iberia (IBE) financed an A340-600 on a 12-year Spanish operating lease. Equity was supplied by Madrid Leasing while the debt was underwritten by Caja Madrid and Royal Bank of Scotland.

Iberia Airlines (IBE) decided not to participate in the privatization of AeroMexico (AMX) and Mexicana (CMA), citing unfavorable market conditions. According to (AFX) in Madrid, (IBE) Chairman, Fernando Conte previously expressed concern over the ability of the two airlines to compete with their current business structure against emerging low-cost carriers. He also was not satisfied that foreign investment would be kept to 25%. However, according to "Reuters," Spain's Globalia, which owns Air Europa (ARE), is interested in bidding for the airlines.

(IBE) discontinued service from Madrid to Beirut. The final flight was operated last Saturday. (IBE) had been flying the route since April with an A319 but loads were not satisfactory for the airline.

A321-211 (2563, EC-JLI "Delta Del Llobregat") & A340-642 (702, EC-JLE "Santiago Ramon y Cajal"), deliveries.

November 2005: Iberia Airlines (IBE) increased frequency between Madrid and Rio de Janeiro from 4x-weekly to daily. It will use A340-300s and A340-600s.

Thanks in no small part to a +€635.1 million/+$742.6 million net capital gain earned through the sale of its 18% stake in Amadeus, the Iberia Group reported a net profit of +€372.5 million for the quarter ended September 30, a fourfold increase over the +€87.8 million profit achieved in the 2004 third quarter. Operating income fell -28.3%, from +€112.7 million to +€80.8 million, which the company pinned on higher fuel costs and expenses related to staff restructuring and fleet replacement. Revenues climbed +53% to €1.98 billion as passenger traffic rose +7.2% to 13.6 billion (RPK)s on a +3.8% increase in capacity to 16.7 billion (ASK)s. Yield held relatively steady, dropping to €0.727 from €0.73. Load factor gained +2.6 points to 81.8% LF. Passenger revenues grew +6.8%.

Expenses were up +34% to €1.59 billion, including €280 million spent on staff restructuring and a +36.4% increase in fuel spending despite hedging and lower unit consumption.

The Spanish government will comply with demands from the European Commission (EC) and give up its "golden share" in (IBE), "Expansion" reported. The government retained the right to veto strategic decisions and attempts by third parties to buy into the carrier despite no longer holding a controlling stake.

(IBE) announced it will reduce the size of its fleet from 152 to 132 airplanes from 2008. In the meantime, it will return leased 747s to Air Atlanta Icelandic (AID) with 2 747-300s at this time and 2 747-400s in early 2006.

A321-211 (2599, EC-JMR) delivery.

December 2005: Iberia (IBE) will bow to pressure from Low-Cost Carriers (LCC)s and begin to eliminate routes that do not pass through Madrid, Managing Director, Angel Mullor told "Iberiavion." "These will be routes which only low-cost companies are going to be able to operate," he said, according to "Reuters." "They have already thrown us out of six routes from Barcelona, and now in serious danger are our routes, for example, from Galicia to England where easyJet (EZY) or Ryanair (RYR) have started and we can't compete with them." He said domestic traffic also will evaporate "to a great extent."

Swiss International Air Lines (CSR) will end all its code share agreement with (IBE) as of January 10.

(IBE) will expand frequency and capacity on its Barcelona to Athens route. Currently (IBE) operates 6 flights a week, daily, except Sundays, with an A320. On January 9th it will increase to 7 flights a week, on March 3rd it will upgrade 2 of the 7 weekly flights, Fridays & Sundays, from an A320 to an A321. (IBE) will expand frequency and capacity on its Madrid to Athens route. Currently (IBE) operates 5 flights a week with A320s, daily, except Saturdays & Sundays. On January 9th, (IBE) will increase to 12 flights a week, 2 a day except Fridays & Sundays with 1 a day. On February 23rd, (IBE) will upgrade 5 of the 12 flights, daily except Fridays & Sundays, from an A320 to an A321. (IBE) will increase the frequency of service on its Madrid to Miami route from 7 to 11 flights a week on July 2nd. The new flight will operate 4 days a week, on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, & Sundays, with an A340-300 and is in addition to the daily A340 flight operated with an A340-600 on Mondays, Wednesdays, & Sundays.

A321-211 (2270, EC-JNI), delivery.

January 2006: Full year 2005 = Passenger traffic 49.06 billion (RPK) traffic (+6.8%) (16th highest in world); 27.68 million passengers (+3.7%).

Spain will spend $3.5 billion over the next 14 years improving the eight airports in the Canary Islands according to a Development Ministry statement cited by "Reuters." The enhancements will include terminal extensions, new runways and more parking.

Madrid Barajas' new Terminal 4 will open February 5, rather than the originally scheduled date of January 29. Spanish airport and air traffic authority (AENA) did not disclose a reason but said the decision was taken in consensus with affected tenants. Iberia Airlines (IBE) will be transferring its operations, including nine divisions and more than 8,000 employees, from Terminals 1, 2 and 3 to the new building.

February 2006: Propelled by +€663 million in gains from the sale of its stake in Amadeus and its agency reservations system Savia, Iberia Airlines (IBE) reported that full-year 2005 net income jumped +98% to +€395.8 million/+$469.2 million from +€199.9 million earned in 2004. Excluding the special gains, however, bottom-line results would have declined sharply, as full-year (EBIT) slumped -35.7% to €116.4 million from €181.1 million while the carrier fell into the red for the fourth quarter, losing -€6 million versus income of +€49.8 million in the comparable 2004 period.

Annual sales revenue rose +3.4% to €4.8 billion. (IBE) attributed the decline in operating income largely to fuel price hikes (+42% before hedging) and weak yields.

Operationally, the company set an annual record with a load factor of 77.1% LF, up +1.9 points over 2004. Passenger traffic rose +6.8% to 49.96 billion (RPK)s against a +4.2% increase in capacity to 63.63 billion (ASK)s. It carried 27.7 million passengers, up +3.7% over 2004. Yield slipped -1.5% to 7.36 euro cents. Operating (RASK) dropped -1.3% to 7.75 euro cents, but expenses remained under control as (CASK) rose just +0.2% to 7.56 euro cents and dipped -4.3% to 6.2 euro cents excluding fuel. (IBE) said it achieved the cost savings targets outlined in its "Director Plan 2003 - 2005." (IBE) said that €280 million of its capital gain was transferred to provisions for covering staff redundancies and €109 million went toward the write-off of its MD-80 fleet, scheduled to be replaced with A320 family airplanes over the next two years. (IBE) said the number of business class (C) travelers on its long-haul flights has increased +20% since the introduction of its Business Plus service last May. The seating class is available on 70% of (IBE)'s A340s and the remaining 30% will be equipped by spring. (IBE) also said it plans to improve its short- and medium-haul business class (C) service concurrent with a redesign of those fleets' interiors.

(IBE) introduced online check-in for passengers flying from London Heathrow (LHR). (IBE) said it is the first of 29 carriers at (LHR)'s Terminal 2 to offer the service.

(IBE) inaugurated nonstop service from La Coruna to London Heathrow (LHR). The daily flight is operated with an A320. (IBE) will increase the frequency of service from Madrid to Johannesburg from 5 to 7 flights a week on March 1st adding a Tuesday, & Thursday departure out of Madrid. All flights are operated with an A340-300. (IBE) has launched twice weekly service from Palma de Mallorca to Paris Orly.

Madrid Barajas Airport (MAD) finally opened the new €6 billion/$7.2 billion Terminal 4 and its satellite, adding capacity for a combined 35 million passengers per year. The departure hall in the main terminal holds 172 check-in desks, including two for special luggage, and ranks of shared self-service kiosks. With a floor surface of 470,000 sq m, T4 is 1.13 km long. It has 38 gates and can handle 20 million passengers per year. (IBE) has transferred its entire Madrid operation to the new terminal, which also will house its Oneworld partners and other airlines with which the flag carrier has codeshare agreements. Oneworld (ONW) member-elect Malev Hungarian Airlines (HGA) will come over in late March. (IBE), American Airlines (AAL), British Airways (BAB), (LAN), Finnair (FIN), Aer Lingus (ARL), Malev (HGA) and future Oneworld member Royal Jordanian (RJA) will account for 90% of the new terminal's passenger throughput, operating a combined total of 650 arriving and departing flights each day at (MAD).

Most domestic and Schengen country flights will operate from the main terminal building, while longhaul services and some European flights will depart from the Terminal 4 Satellite. (IBE) flights will depart from the main Terminal 4 or the satellite, depending on their destination. All flights operated by Aer Lingus (ARL) and Finnair (FIN) will operate from the main building, while services by (AAL), (BAB), (LAN), Malev (HGA) and (RJA) will operate from the satellite.

Terminal 4's gates are coded to reflect the colors of the rainbow, starting with a dark blue at the North end of the building and changing gradually through the full spectrum to a deep red at the South end. Signs display walking times to gates throughout the terminal and the satellite. The satellite terminal is 930 m long, has a floor space of 287,000 sq m and boasts capacity for 15 million passengers per year. It has 26 gates, 16 of which feature double piers. The people mover connecting the two buildings covers a distance of 2.1 km and can transfer 13,000 passengers each hour. The new automated baggage system can handle 16,500 items per hour. Outside, the road approaching the main terminal building has 12 lanes, six each for departures and arrivals with three lanes dedicated to taxis, two to buses and one for private vehicles in each direction. The car park holds 9,000 cars.

Two new runways also opened at Madrid Barajas, lifting the airport's capacity from 78 to 120 airplane movements per hour and almost doubling its passenger capacity to 70 million passengers per year.

(IBE) said sales through its website increased nearly +39% in 2005, reaching €288.6 million/$342.6 million. Domestic customers generated more than 73% of online ticket revenue, a jump of more than +33%. Sales from outside Spain rose +57.4%. At present, 31 versions of the website are available to customers in Europe, the Americas and the Middle East.

(IBE) converts 10 orders A318-100's to 10 orders A319-100's. A340-642 (727, EC-JNQ "Antonio Machado"), delivery.

March 2006: Iberia Airlines (IBE) signed deals with Santa Barbara Airlines (BBR) of Venezuela and Star Peru (SRU) allowing the South American carriers to use its Resiber reservations management system.

(IBE) said it is very satisfied with the situation at the new Terminal 4 at Madrid Barajas less than two months after it moved its operation into the €6 billion/$7.22 billion facility. "In most operational parameters we are performing better now than before the move," said (IBE)'s Luis Garcia Ruiz, who coordinated the relocation. "We're scoring better in punctuality, overall customer satisfaction and baggage punctuality."

Ruiz said in Madrid that the airline's first few days at the terminal did feature some significant hiccups with baggage handling and confused travelers who were unable to find their way through the 1.13 km-long building and its 930-m satellite T4S.

The carrier had lobbied for its "own USA-style terminal since the early 1990s," Ruiz conceded, and while state-controlled airport operator (AENA) did not allow an (IBE)-owned terminal, it did provide one "designed for (IBE)'s needs." Cost of the relocation for the airline was €60 million. "Overall, we have gained in efficiency because all our operations, as well as most of the oneworld partners, are now concentrated in one terminal," Ruiz said. "However, we have lost in one area, which is cargo handling. The cargo terminal is now 11 km from T4 and we had to invest in 50 new trucks with special automated (ULD) loaders." (IBE) decided not to organize the move into T4 itself. Instead, it outsourced it to an external consultant, (ALG), for two reasons, according to Ruiz. "We decided an outside company could provide us with a fresh look of our airport operations. Secondly, what would we do with the team after the move?"

A340-642 (731, EC-JOH "Miguel de Unamuno"), delivery.

April 2006: Iberia (IBE) Cargo signed a contract to be handled by Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) in Building 550 at London Heathrow, which (WFS) took over from United Airlines (UAL) in 2005. (WFS) also acquired (UAL)'s third-party handling contracts. This marks the first time (IBE) Cargo awarded a contract to (WFS) directly at Heathrow.

(IBE) CEO, Angel Mullor is resigning "in order to take on new personal and professional projects," the airline said. He joined (IBE) in 1996 as Managing Director and was elevated to CEO in 2001. "I have spent ten years in (IBE), much longer than I imagined when I came to handle the company's privatization. I depart with the satisfaction of having worked with a first-rank team of people and having achieved all the objectives we set in the three strategic plans established in this period," Mullor said.

(IBE) will inaugurate nonstop service from Madrid to Cancun on May 1st. Iberworld (IBW) will operate 4 flights a week, on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, & Saturdays, using an A330-300.

(IBE), at long last, confirmed it will launch a low-cost carrier (LCC) to compete with the ever-growing herd of (LCC)s operating to and within Spain. The still nameless, no-frills carrier will be based at Barcelona International Airport and is due to launch in October with five airplanes. The aim is to increase this number to 30 by the end of 2008, when a listing will be considered. It will be a standalone company with independent management "so as not to contaminate the new airline with (IBE)'s higher cost structure," according to (IBE), which will provide €24 million of €50 million in startup capital. Four other Spanish companies will participate in the venture: Cobra, a subsidiary of leading construction and services group (ACS); Nefinsa, holding company of the Serratosa family that also holds 96.8% of Air Nostrum; Spanish tourism group Iberostar, and private equity fund Quercus.

Last fall at a Royal Jordanian (RJA)/Oneworld event in Amman, Iberia (IBE) Chairman & (CEO), Fernando Conte said that the airline still was analyzing all options, including buying into an existing budget carrier and not necessarily one based in Spain. He also said the new (LCC) would not be a wholly owned subsidiary.

(IBE) is investing €30 million/$37.12 million to remodel passenger cabins on all of its A319s, A320s and A321s. It plans to complete the refurbishment of nearly 90 airplanes by the end of 2007.

A321-211 (2736, EC-JQZ), & A340-642 (744, EC-JPU "Pio Baroja"), deliveries.

May 2006: 26,677 employees.

Iberia Airlines (IBE) will place its code on Malev Hungarian Airlines (HGA)'s 3x-weekly Malaga - Budapest service beginning May 2. Iberia Airlines (IBE) will inaugurate nonstop code share service with Iberworld (IBW) from Madrid to Cancun on May 1st. Iberworld (IBW) will operate 4x-weekly on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, & Saturdays, using an A330-300.

INCDT: An Iberia Airlines (IBE) A320 en route from Madrid to Dublin reported a fire in the back of the airplane and made an emergency landing. Passenger were evacuated using the emergency chutes. All OK.

A320-214 (2776, EC-JSB) & A321-211 (2756, EC-JRE), deliveries.

June 2006: Iberia Airlines (IBE) will reduce its operations at Barcelona International (BCN) drastically, Chairman, Fernando Conte told the carrier's Annual General Meeting (AGM) earlier this week. He said most of the routes it operates from El Prat are unprofitable. In April, (IBE) confirmed plans to participate in a Low Cost Carrier (LCC) (later to be named "ClickAir" (CLK)), that will operate point-to-point routes, largely to counter increasing competition at (BCN) from no-frills operators like Vueling (VUZ) and easyJet (EZY). Ryanair (RYR) has a base at nearby Girona-Costa Brava. The reduction at (BCN) will not affect (IBE)'s successful shuttle service to Madrid. Its pilots (FC) union did not take the news well and threatened strike action if the airline does not provide further clarification of its plans.

(IBE) is only "cutting nonprofitable routes" at Barcelona International (BCN), Chairman & (CEO), Fernando Conte stressed at the (IATA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Paris. "There is a lot of misunderstanding on this matter. We are not leaving (BCN). As a matter of fact, we have plans to invest in our airplane Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) and handling activities at the airport," he stated.

Conte also said startup of (CLK) in which (IBE) will hold a stake, is moving forward. Operations are scheduled to start in October and management will be appointed in the coming weeks. He refused to disclose the commercial name of the newborn. The name of the holding is "Cat Air," an abbreviation of Catalonia Air. With regard to the naming of a successor to (COO), Angel Mullor, who left (IBE) last week, Conte said no decision has been made. "We're studying if we should continue with the current [management] structure or introduce a new organization with the different activities being aligned in separate profit centers. We will start discussing this at board level next month."

(IBE) pilots (FC) union (SEPLA) called a strike for July 10 - 16 to protest management's plans to launch a low-cost carrier (LCC) based in Barcelona. Although (IBE) is only one of five shareholders in the new venture, its pilots fear the (LCC), dubbed "Catair," will lead to job losses. Late last month, (IBE) said it will cut loss-making routes from Barcelona. On Monday, it was forced to cancel several flights at Madrid Barajas owing to a 24-hour cabin crew (CA) strike called by the (CTA) trade union.

The (IBE) board approved the reorganization of the airline group's top management along with a new management structure. As indicated by Chairman & (CEO), Fernando Conte, the position of (COO) is being eliminated following the resignation of Angel Mullor. The restructuring "is designed to achieve two objectives: To reduce the number of senior executives, and to assign greater responsibility to the members of the Executive Committee," (IBE) noted. The group's maintenance and handling business units will evolve into "full division status, on a par with the airline division itself." The company will have three General Managers: Enrique Donaire will remain head of the airline division, Manuel Lopez Aguilar was appointed General Manager Maintenance and Engineering Division, and Fernando Sarmentero was named acting General Manager Airports Division. Iberia Group (CFO), Enrique Dupuy also will take charge of Corporate Strategy. The executive committee, which reports to the Chairman, will have eight members.

(IBE) Maintenance won a five-year contract from British Airways (BAB) for maintenance of 29 (RB211-535E4)s used on the carrier's 757 fleet. The agreement calls for (IBE) to perform all repairs, modifications, maintenance and inspection of engines, subassemblies, components and spare parts. (IBE) Maintenance also signed a contract with Swiftair (SWF) under which it will act as sole provider of maintenance services for components on the carrier's fleet of MD-80s/-83s. The contract remains in force until the end of 2009.

A320-214 (2807, EC-JSK "Ciudad Encantada"), delivery.

July 2006: Iberia Airlines (IBE) said a strike was called by the (SEPLA) pilots (FC) union. The pilots (fc) announced the strike last month in response to (IBE)'s plans to participate in a new low-cost carrier (LCC) ClickAir (CLK) based in Barcelona (BCN).

The Spanish Transport Ministry prevents flights to the Canaries, Balearic Islands, Africa, Middle East, "nearly" all long-haul services and "about half" of the carrier's domestic and European flights from being cancelled. About 23% of the Madrid - (BCN) shuttle service will be lost. "All (IBE)'s staff will try to find alternatives for affected passengers, although the possibilities are limited because of high seasonal demand," the airline said.

Regarding the pilots (FC)'s concerns, (IBE) said (CLK) is "a strictly entrepreneurial decision that will in no way affect (IBE)'s pilots (FC)." It guaranteed that no pilots (FC) will lose their jobs and that the new airline "will operate chiefly on point-to-point routes where (IBE) cannot compete, because of its high costs."

Later, (IBE) cancelled some 220 flights on the first day of an expected weeklong strike by pilots (FC) who are protesting the carrier's plans to establish a low-cost airline at Barcelona International later this year. (IBE) claimed the strike will cost about -€35 million/-$44.8 million in lost revenue, representing about one-third of its 2005 operating profit. Most of the flight cancellations were on domestic routes. Management said that it had handed over "a formal proposal in writing" reiterating its guarantee of continued employment to all pilots currently on staff. "(IBE) hopes these guarantees will prompt (SEPLA) to end the strike, as it has promised repeatedly," the company said in a statement. It also said it would accept "oversight and enforcement" of the guarantee by Spain's Ministry of Labor and that it would form a committee in conjunction with the Ministry of Transport to look into whether or not pilots' employment might be impacted by the new (CLK). (IBE) said (SEPLA) has responded with "one aberrant demand after another, including enormous bank guarantees, assurances of huge compensation packages and other types of unusual demands without precedent."

Resolution to the (IBE) pilots (FC)'s strike remained elusive as the carrier cancelled more than >200 flights for a second straight day and hinted it will seek to have the work action declared illegal. (IBE) said it attempted to present pilots (FC) with a letter guaranteeing their job security, but the (SEPLA) pilots union refused to accept the document. The pilots (FC) began a weeklong strike to protest (IBE)'s plans to launch (CLK), which the pilots (FC) say would threaten their jobs. (SEPLA) said that (IBE) "refused to budge in its position" and offered nothing new. (IBE) said it would ask Spain's National Court to declare the strike, estimated to be costing more than $6 million daily, illegal.

Later, (IBE) pilots (FC) agreed to end their strike, which started Monday and was to have lasted through Sunday, after winning guarantees from the carrier that the new (LCC) "Catair," in which (IBE) is one of five shareholders, will not lead to job losses.
The agreement among (IBE), the (SEPLA) union and the Spanish Development Ministry ensures that no (IBE) pilots will be laid off through 2010 because of Catair operations. The government will act as guarantor of the deal, which does not include salary hikes or guarantees, according to reports. The (UGT) and (CCOO) trade unions asked (SEPLA) to call off the strike. Reportedly, both unions complained about the vagueness of the pilots (FC)'s demands. According to "Reuters," one of four cabin crew (CA) unions supported the pilots (FC) and planned to strike on July 16, 18 and 20 to protest Catair, which is scheduled to launch this fall.

The strike cost the airline more than >-200 flights and more than >-$6 million per day. (IBE) said it was back to its full flight schedule "with very few exceptions" following conclusion of a three-day pilots (FC) strike.

(IBE) confirmed that its new Barcelona-based Low Cost Carrier (LCC), is now formally named "Clickair (CLK)," and will launch in October with 12 domestic and additional European destinations, "AFX News" reported. Originally dubbed "Catair" after its Catalonia home, the airline officially has been branded "Clickair (CLK)" to highlight the importance of the Internet to its sales efforts.

(IBE) commissioned a 156 sq m refrigerated storage facility for perishable goods at its cargo terminal at Caracas Maiquetia.

Worldspan signed a three-year, full-content participating carrier agreement with (IBE).

A320-214 (1229, XA-MXD), leased to Mexicana (CMA).

August 2006: Iberia Airlines (IBE)'s efforts to return its Barcelona operations to normal following action by ground workers, included the transfer of more than >100 employees from other airports, two additional airplanes and the placement of extra staff on all shifts, it said, adding that the airport "is now operating normally" although the carrier is still working on shipping baggage. "(IBE) is to launch an internal probe to ascertain responsibility for the wildcat strike which took place with no advance warning, and led to the invasion of the landing field of Barcelona's airport, as well as damage to equipment," it said.

(IBE) launched versions of its website for customers in Cuba, Egypt, Morocco, Russia, South Africa and Turkey. It now has 37 country-specific sites.

A319-111 (2843, EC-JVE "Puerto de la Cruz"), delivery.

September 2006: Iberia Airlines (IBE) will add 2x-weekly frequencies to its Madrid - Sao Paulo Guarulhos service from September 20, bringing the number of operations on the route to 12. Currently, (IBE) operates a daily midnight departure from Madrid as well as a mid-day departure on Wednesdays, Saturdays & Sundays. The mid-day flight will also operate on Mondays & Tuesdays with a mix of A340-300's & A340-600's. In the past six months, it has doubled seat supply to Brazil.

2 A319-111's (2870, EC-JXA; 2889, EC-JXJ "Ciudad de Baeza"), deliveries. (IBE) new low cost carrier (LCC) Clickair (CLK) received its first A320 (EC-GRF) - see photo.

October 2006: A319-111 (2897, EC-JXV "Concejo de Cobrales"), delivery.

November 2006: Iberia (IBE) said e-tickets accounted for 95% of all tickets sold in October. For domestic flights, the proportion was 97.5% and international was 92%. Only Naples and Pisa, served by franchise partners Iberia Regional/Air Nostrum, still require traditional tickets.

British Airways (BAB) announced that it purchased American Airlines (AAL)'s 1% stake in (IBE) for approximately €19 million, lifting its stake to 10% and preserving its two seats on the (IBE) board. (BAB) and (AAL) made their original investment in (IBE) in 1999 through (BAB) & (AAL) Holdings. (BAB) owns 90% of this holding, which in turn now owns around 10% of (IBE).

(IBE) appears to be more eager to participate in European airline consolidation than Oneworld (ONW) alliance partner and shareholder (BAB), although (IBE) dismissed reports that it is dissatisfied with its UK partner. In an interview with Spanish newspaper "Expansion," (IBE) (CFO) & Director Corporate Strategy, Enrique Dupuy de Lome said that considering its business model and Latin American focus, (IBE) would be a good fit with any of the three large European airline groupings: Air France (AFA)/KLM, Lufthansa (DLH)-Swiss (CSR) or (BAB). (BAB) always has been regarded as a natural merger candidate. The two participate in a joint venture on Spain - UK services, are in the same alliance, and are joined economically thanks to (BAB)'s 10% stake in (IBE).

Now, (IBE) seems ready to move forward despite (BAB)'s apparent reluctance. "In a marriage, you need two parties and (IBE) and (BAB)'s priorities have not always been the same," Dupuy said. "For there to be integration, the two parties' desires need to coincide at the same time. That could happen - - or not - - with (BAB), or it could happen with other companies." His remarks led to instant speculation that (IBE) might end its alliance with (BAB) and look for a link-up with (AFA) or (DLH), but it scuttled that notion on both sides of the Atlantic. (IBE) (CEO), Fernando Conte suggested that Dupuy's remarks had been overemphasized by the media. Speaking at the Latin American Airlines Leaders Forum in Cancun, Conte downplayed reports that (IBE) was dissatisfied with (BAB). "(BAB) is a very important shareholder with 10%," he noted, adding that (IBE) is "highly satisfied" to have (BAB) as a shareholder. Meanwhile, an (IBE) spokesperson said that "Enrique Dupuy did not say we are not happy with (BAB). He reiterated our point of view that consolidation in Europe is necessary and that we intend to play an important role in this. Networkwise, we fit in all three groups." The spokesperson added, "Merging two large carriers in Europe remains difficult, until the regulatory framework, certainly with the USA, changes," and pointed to recent announcements by (AFA) and (DLH) warning that their European shareholding might drop below the level required to maintain traffic rights.

(BAB) said that from its perspective, it is "happy to work with (IBE), otherwise we would not have raised our shareholding in them." However, a spokesperson acknowledged that merging is "not a top priority" at the moment, and that its focus is on reducing its cost base and tackling the pension deficit.

In the larger context of consolidation, Conte noted in Cancun, the advantage of a common balance sheet and said, "alliances are just a palliative for the need for consolidation."

(IBE) will resume nonstop service from Madrid to Gibraltar on December 16th. The airline will operate a daily flight using an A319. (IBE) will operate twice-weekly (on Thursdays & Sundays), Madrid - Algiers flights, beginning January 7, aboard an A319.

December 2006: Starting January 7th, Madrid - Algiers, 2/week, using A319s. Iberia Airlines (IBE) will increase the frequency on its Madrid to Miami route from 7 to 10x-weekly on March 25th. The airline's additional flight will operate on Mondays, Fridays, & Sundays with an A340-300.

Madrid Barajas flights are operating normally this week, even as rescue workers continue to clear rubble from a car bomb explosion that destroyed a large portion of a parking garage attached to Terminal 4, which opened in February 2006 and cost approximately $8 billion. The blast, which Spanish officials blamed on the Basque separatist group (ETA), injured 26 and left two men missing and feared dead, according to press reports from Madrid.

Terminal 4, where (IBE) and other Oneworld carriers are based, was evacuated shortly after the December 30 explosion that sent a cloud of smoke billowing over the airport. (IBE) was forced to cancel flights for much of the day, but was back up to full speed by December 31, according to a statement from the airline. Madrid Mayor, Alberto Ruiz Gallardon said at a news conference that workers were searching for the two missing men and the remains of the vehicle that contained the bomb. The Interior Ministry said the vehicle was believed to be a van stolen at gunpoint by (ETA) operatives in France and that it was packed with 500 to 800 kg of explosives.

January 2007: In 2006, (IBE) had 52.49 billion (RPK)s passenger traffic (+7%) (world 18th highest), and 27.8 million passengers (+0.4%).

Fernando Conte, Iberia Airlines (IBE), Chairman & (CEO), has been named Chairman of the Association of European Airlines (AEA) for 2007.

Iberia (IBE) launched 2x-weekly, Madrid Barajas (MAD) - Algiers flights from January 7th and will start 2x-weekly (MAD) - Bucharest flights from March 3rd aboard A319s and A320s. (IBE) added a 9x-weekly Madrid - Istanbul Ataturk frequency, citing a +8.4% year-over-year increase in passenger numbers in the first 10 months of 2006.

A321-212 (2996, EC-JZM), delivery.

February 2007: In line with its 2006 to 2008 strategic plan, Iberia (IBE) began restructuring its short- and medium-haul networks, while raising capacity (ASK)s on long-haul operations by +8.6%. The number of long-haul passengers grew +10.3% to 3.9 million, and load factor improved +2.5 points to 85.6% LF. Occupancy of its intercontinental Business Plus class (C) also climbed +10 points year-on-year. It announced the launch of a 5x-weekly Madrid - Washington Dulles service on June 2 aboard 260-seat A340s.

March 2007: Iberia Airlines (IBE) reached a labor agreement with its 4,200 flight attendants (CA) that will include the conversion of 260 temporary contracts into permanent positions, pay raises linked to company performance, a lump payment of more than €7 million/$9.3 million and "a number of employee benefits," according to (IBE). The deal is effective through December 31.

Beginning March 25th, New York (JFK) - Madrid, (IBE) will increase service to 14x-weekly from 10, using A340-600s, raising overall capacity +68% compared to the winter season. (IBE) launched 2x-weekly Madrid - Bucharest service onboard 170-seat A320s, becoming 3x-weekly from March 28. (IBE) will add a 3x-weekly Madrid - Algiers flight starting April 11.

Aviapartner started handling (IBE)'s flights at Rome Fiumicino, Milan Malpensa and Milan Linate.

A319-111 (3054, EC-KBJ), delivery.

April 2007: Considered to be a merger or acquisition target following approval of the (EU)-USA "open skies" agreement, Iberia Airlines (IBE) received a takeover approach from Texas Pacific Group (TPG), which values the Spanish flag carrier at about €3.4 billion/$4.53 billion. "(IBE) reports that it has received a request from (TPG) Capital LLP . . . for access to specific corporate, accounting, fiscal and legal information, with a view to the possible formulation of a public offer to buy all shares in the company at the price of €3.60 cash per share," (IBE) said in a regulatory filing. (TPG), who are also participating in bids for Qantas (QAN) and Alitalia (ALI), agreed to analyze the information within 30 days of receipt and make its decision within another 10 days. (IBE) said its board will meet in the coming days "to deliberate and make a decision" on (TPG)'s approach. Last week, the airline indicated it was open to a sale or partial sale. It is not known if (TPG), a USA private equity fund, will make a bid, yet it is doubtful it would acquire more than 49% because this would lead to (IBE)'s losing its status, and the accompanying traffic rights, as an (EU) carrier. The recently concluded "open skies" accord, scheduled to be signed later this month in Washington, establishes the concept of a community carrier but does not change current ownership and control rules. British Airways (BAB), which holds 10% of (IBE), and Lufthansa (DLH) also are seen as plausible suitors. (BAB) said that in light of (TPG)'s approach, it appointed UBS to advise it on how to use its stake in the best interests of shareholders. The advice will examine "all options, including a disposal of (BAB)'s holding," it said. Meanwhile, rumors continued to move ahead regarding further market consolidation in Europe. The latest round of speculation includes (SAS) looking to shed its 20% stake in bmi (BMA), March 30. "The Times" reported that (BAB) reached a deal with bmi (BMA) to purchase 51 weekly slots at London Heathrow (LHR) for £30 million/$58.9 million.

(IBE) has yet to open its books to (TPG) and wants more information on the USA firm's partners in its €3.4 billion/$4.58 billion bid for the airline, specifically if there are any Spanish companies or airlines involved, an (IBE) spokesperson said, according to "Reuters." A non-(EU) interest currently cannot acquire more than >49% of an (EU) airline.

(BAB) is not in talks to acquire a stake in bmi (BMA) and is not really interested in (IBE) either, (CEO), Willie Walsh told "The Guardian." "I have had no contact with him (BMA) Chairman, Michael Bishop] at all and I have read that he is not selling. It is his airline," Walsh said. He did confirm that (BAB) bought some London Heathrow slots from (BMA) and said he would look at (BMA) if it became available. He stressed (BAB) would not acquire its smaller rival just to protect its market position on USA routes. "I have always said I would have no difficulty competing with (BMA) on the transatlantic route. I don't believe in closing off threats like that." He also indicated (BAB) is not interested in taking over (IBE) and reiterated that a sale of its 10% stake in the carrier remains an option. The Spanish carrier's strength is its Latin American network, which is underpinned by bilateral agreements, Walsh noted. He said (BAB) considered a bid for Alitalia (ALI) for "1.5 seconds" before deciding not to approach the loss-making carrier.

(IBE) will launch 5x-weekly flights from Madrid to Boston (from May 6) and Washington Dulles (IAD) (from June 2) aboard A340-300s. (IBE) added a second daily Madrid - Dublin frequency aboard an A320. (IBE) will start 2x-weekly Madrid - St Petersburg flights on June 2, aboard two-class A319s. (IBE) will increase its daily service to Moscow Domodedovo to 12x-weekly.

(IBE) filed a €2 million/$2.7 million lawsuit against Ryanair (RYR) over a Barcelona marketing stunt last fall in which (RYR) offered free tickets to people willing to carry signs through the city expressing their preference for (RYR) over (IBE), according to press reports. (RYR) said the suit was (IBE)'s "latest tactic to contribute to protect its dominance in the Spanish market" and that it expects to transport 9 million passengers to and from Spain this year.

A319-111 (3078, EC-KBX "Oso Pardo"), delivery.

May 2007: Iberia said "business plus" (C) class performance has been "particularly outstanding," with a +28% growth in the number of passengers purchasing those tickets.

(IBE) Maintenance signed a five-year deal with Cygnus Air (REI) to maintain and repair the freight operator's 757s.

British Airways (BAB), which already holds 10% of (IBE), confirmed it has joined a consortium considering a bid for the Spanish carrier. " (BAB) has joined with (TPG) Capital, Vista Capital, Inversiones Ibersuizas and Quercus Equity to investigate a possible consortium offer for (IBE)," the airline said in brief stock exchange statement, adding that there is "no guarantee that a formal bid will be made." (BAB) also noted that it "has previously ruled out further capital investment as part of any consortium offer and will not make an independent bid for the airline." Last month it announced its intention to seek partners, specifically private equity companies, in a bid for its Oneworld (ONW) partner.

In addition to its 10% stake, (BAB) has right of first refusal on another 30% of (IBE). It appointed UBS to provide consultation on using its holding "in the best interest of shareholders" after it confirmed an approach bid by (TPG), formerly Texas Pacific Group, for approximately €3.4 billion. Vista is a private equity company owned by Banco Santander Central Hispano and Royal Bank of Scotland. Inversiones Ibersuizas is a Madrid-based investment company and Quercus a private equity group with a 20% stake in Clickair (CLK). (IBE) also holds 20% of (CLK).

(IBE) confirmed that it was contacted by a consortium led by (TPG) Capital, recently joined by (BAB), investigating a formal offer for (IBE). Members of the consortium, which also includes investment fund Vista Capital, and private equity firms Ibersuizas and Quercus Equity, "have shown interest in analyzing the information requested formerly by (TPG) as soon as possible," (IBE) said, adding that the board decided "to study deeply the proposal in the next meeting." (TPG) had approached (IBE) in March with an indicative bid that valued the airline at €3.4 billion/$4.57 billion.

Meanwhile, Air France (AFA)/(KLM) denied a report that it was discussing a £2.3 billion/$4.58 billion takeover of (IBE) with investment fund Apax Partners and Lufthansa (DLH). (AFA) said that it has had "no contact" with Apax concerning (IBE). (AFA)/(KLM) Chairman & (CEO), Jean-Cyril Spinetta maintained that the company is not in talks with (IBE) "at the moment."

2 A319-111s (3102, EC-KDI; 3169, EC-KEV), deliveries.

July 2007: Iberia (IBE) said it signed a labor agreement covering approximately 18,000 ground staff represented by the CC.OO, (UGT) and (ASETMA) unions. The deal is valid for 2007, and stipulates a +2% wage increase, with an additional increase if needed to offset real inflation. It also calls for changes in 1,177 contracts, including new permanent status for 745 employees, and new productivity standards in (IBE)'s Maintenance and Engineering Division.

(IBE)'s board said it would agree to "make the delivery of all the information requested" by the consortium led by USA investment group Texas Pacific Group (TPG) Capital and British Airways (BAB) available, as long as a "formal and binding offer" resulted. (IBE) brought forward a meeting originally scheduled for July 26 to discuss the €3.60/$4.95-per-share proposal from the group, which also includes Inversiones Ibersuizas, Quercus Equity and Vista Capital de Expansion. It reportedly was willing to open its books only for offers exceeding €4 per share. The board said it decided unanimously to work with the consortium, saying that while it "has not authorized access to information regarded as sensitive, it has indicated its willingness to negotiate terms acceptable to both parties under which the information needed for the formulation of a formal bid may be supplied." It said it did so "in due consideration of the interests of the company, its shareholders and its employees." (IBE) stressed that the decision "must not be construed as validating in any way the indicative bid put forward by the consortium." Neither (BAB), nor (TPG) issued a statement.

Air France (AFA)/(KLM) confirmed that it is looking at (IBE) as a possible merger target as it revealed its aspiration to participate in Europe's continuing airline consolidation. "(AFA)/(KLM), the world's leading airline group in terms of turnover, once again confirms its intention to take an active part in the consolidation process in the air transport industry," it said in a statement. "In Europe, Spain is a one of the major markets and (IBE) is an important player in air transport. Taken in the perspective of much-needed consolidation for the efficiency and profitability of the air transport sector, it is therefore quite normal for it to be examined among others." (AFA)/(KLM)'s announcement followed a report in the Spanish business paper "El Economista" saying the Franco-Dutch group will take part as an industrial partner in a consortium led by Apax Partners to launch a bid for (IBE). The consortium would be willing to offer €4/$5.51 per share, valuing (IBE) at about €3.81 billion.

USA investment firm Texas Pacific Group (TPG) has approached (IBE) with a preliminary offer of €3.60 per share. Several other investment funds and (BAB), which holds 10% of (IBE), joined the (TPG)-led consortium in May, when (AFA)/(KLM) denied it was in talks with the Spanish carrier. The (IBE) board recently only agreed to "make the delivery of all the information requested" by that consortium available as long as a "formal and binding offer" resulted.

Oneworld (ONW) partners American Airlines (AAL), (IBE), Finnair (FIN), Malev Hungarian Airlines (HGA), and Royal Jordanian (RJA) filed a request for antitrust immunity with the USA Department of Transportation (DOT), effective March 30, 2008, the day the USA-(EU) "open skies" agreement becomes active. The five carriers said they wish to cooperate on codesharing, loyalty programs, route and schedule planning, advertising and marketing, pricing and yield management, revenue allocation, ground handling, cargo, Information Technology (IT) and distribution, and other areas. "We believe that an alliance with antitrust immunity is of vital strategic importance and will help us remain competitive with other transatlantic alliances, that already have such immunity," (AAL) Senior VP Planning, Henry Joyner said. Six SkyTeam (SKT) alliance carriers filed a similar request last month.

2 A319-111s (3179, EC-KFT; 3209, EC-KHM), deliveries.

August 2007: Already the subject of takeover rumors involving such heavyweights as the Texas Air Group (TPG), British Airways (BAB) and Air France (AFA)/(KLM), Spanish flag carrier, Iberia (IBE) presented itself as an even more appetizing target by reporting a second-quarter profit of +€62.6 million, up +75.2% on year-ago earnings of +€35.7 million, and a half-year profit of +€74.8 million that marked its "best performance in the last five years." (IBE) cited a +2.3-point increase in load factor to a record 80.2% LF, an +8.3-point rise in business class (C) load factor to 62% LF (its target for December 2008), and a -6.6% year-over-year staffing reduction as keys to the semester result.

(IBE) launched a new service on its website to allow passengers to supply Advance Passenger Information when traveling to countries that require it such as the USA, Cuba, and Mexico. Initially the service is available only when the reservation has been made through Amadeus. Next year, it will be available regardless of the distribution system, (IBE) said.

(ILFC) (ILF) announced the following lease contract: (IBE) for one used A340-300 for six years with delivery this November.

A320-216 (3203, EC-KHN), delivery for ClickAir (CLK) operations.

September 2007: Air France (AFA)/(KLM) is preparing to launch a bid for Iberia (IBE), in conjunction with several Spanish companies, Madrid's "Expansion" newspaper reported. The consortium likely would include investment firm Torreal and publishing house Grupo Planeta, which currently is the largest shareholder in Vueling Airlines (VUZ). The (AFA)/(KLM) offer would keep 51% of (IBE) in Spanish hands, allowing it to maintain its traffic rights for non-(EU) and USA routes. In recent weeks, (AFA)/(KLM) Chairman & (CEO), Jean-Cyril Spinetta has stated several times that the group is "studying" the (IBE) dossier. Earlier, (BAB) (CEO), Willie Walsh said that (BAB) is leading a consortium that itself is conducting due diligence on (IBE).

Vueling (VUZ), meanwhile, named former Go (GFL) (CEO), Barbara Cassani, Chairman to replace Jose Miguel Abad, who resigned along with two other board members representing Grupo Planeta following "disagreement about the management" of the company, (VUZ) said in a filing to the Spanish stock market regulator earlier. The departure of the Grupo Planeta (GP) representatives raised speculation that (GP), which holds a 15.87% stake in (VUZ) through Inversiones Hemisferio, might sell its shareholding to join Torreal and (AFA)/(KLM) in the bid for Iberia (IBE).

(IBE) and American Express (AmEx) signed a strategic agreement linking their rewards programs. From September 17 onward, (AmEx) card holders belonging to the Membership Rewards program in Spain will be able to transfer their accumulated points to the "(IBE) Plus" program.

October 2007: Iberia (IBE) Maintenance won a one-year contract from Pluna (PLU) to conduct "A"-type inspections of a 767. Under a separate agreement, (IBE)'s Maintenance division will maintain and overhaul the (RB211-535E4)s on one of the Uruguayan carrier's 757s.

(IBE) and (TAP) Portugal signed an agreement under which (TAP) Maintenance & Engineering will perform Maintenance Reapir & Overhaul (MRO) work on the (CFM56-5C)s powering (IBE)'s A340s, while (IBE) Maintenance & Engineering will maintain (TAP)'s A320 landing gear. The carriers said creation of maintenance networks among airline (MRO) organizations through sharing and exchanging of maintenance services, "becomes an important factor to compete against" increasing inroads into the aftermarket by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM)s.

A319-111 (3255, EC-KJC "Avutarda"), delivery.

November 2007: Iberia (IBE)'s sale is looking more probable, following its confirmation that it received a takeover approach from a consortium led by private equity group Gala Capital. In March, a consortium led by USA investment fund (TPG), that included British Airways (BAB) (which holds a 10% stake in (IBE)) made an indicative offer of €3.60/$5.28 per share. It has not made a firm bid, although (BAB) (CEO), Willie Walsh recently indicated the consortium expected to make a formal proposal by mid-December. The Gala Capital-led consortium "mentions" an indicative price of €3.60 to €3.90 per share, (IBE) said, adding the approach does not constitute a binding offer or a definitive decision about launching a bid. The consortium will take another four weeks to study the deal. The all-Spanish group includes players such as Basque bank (BKK), headed by former (IBE) President, Xabier de Irala, as well as Juan Jose Hidalgo, Executive President of Air Europa (ARE) parent, Globalia. (IBE) held merger discussions with Air Europa (ARE) in 2000, but they broke off early the following year. Roles now could be reversed, with the smaller carrier possibly buying its larger competitor. In 1993, Air Europa (ARE) was the first privately held airline to operate domestically in Spain, thus putting an end to (IBE)'s monopoly. Former (IBE) (COO), Angel Mullor reportedly is advising.

Later, the (BAB) and (TPG)-led consortium confirmed that it formally withdrew its interest in bidding for (IBE) because a bid under friendly terms no longer was possible. The decision folled the announcement by Caja Madrid (CM), which holds a stake in (IBE) similar in size to (BAB)'s, that it wanted to increase its shareholding from just under 10% to 23% and that (BBVA) and Logista, holding 7.3% and 6.7% respectively, intended to sell their shares to (CM). "As a consequence of the recent decision taken by (IBE)'s core shareholders, the consortium formed by (BAB), Ibersuizas, Quercus, (TPG) and Vista Capital has come to the conclusion that it is not possible to pursue a potential takeover bid since the consensus and friendly terms that we considered essential for this project are no longer in place," (BAB) said in a regulatory filing. "We have thus decided unanimously to withdraw our indication of interest for the company." (BAB) already had declined to increase its 9.95% stake in (IBE) through the acquisition of the (BBVA) and Logista shares, to which it has preemption rights as a core shareholder. (BAB) and (TPG) made a €3.60/$5.34-per-share proposal in July, and (IBE) had agreed to negotiate with the consortium. Press reports valued the prospective offer at €3.4 billion.

(IBE) won three five-year contracts from Conviasa Airlines (VCV) for A340 airframe and engine maintenance. The first includes inspection, engineering, paint and interior services. The second calls for "C" checks of the structure, systems and interior and exterior areas. The third involves inspection and Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) of the airplane's (CFM56-5C4) engines. Work will be conducted at (IBE)'s facilities in Madrid.

INCDT: - see photo. All occupants (6 crew (FC)/(CA) and 117 passengers) of an (IBE) A340-642 (731, /05 EC-JOH) escaped injury after the airplane was badly damaged (burst tires and severe structural damage), when it skidded off the runway while landing at Ecuador’s Quito International Airport on 9th November. The airplane is just 18 months old, and it is owned by the carrier. Both left-hand Rolls-Royce (RR) (Trent 500) engines were dislodged from their pylon mounts in the accident. Evacuation slides were deployed; the airplane is said to have been transporting 123 occupants, but no injuries were reported.

Oneworld (ONW) alliance partner, (IBE) operates daily between Madrid and Quito; its weekday service, IB6463, is scheduled to arrive at 17:20. The incident reportedly occurred at about 17:15. Weather data from Quito Airport at 17:00, showed rain in the vicinity. Quito has a single runway, designated 17/35, which is 3,120m/10,240ft long.

A319-111 (3320, EC-KKS), delivery.

December 2007: Airbus (EDS) announced creation of the (EDS) Maintenance Training Network designed to extend its Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) Network and simplify access to its training courses. Contracts with major training providers, include Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Ltd (HAECO) (CAT), Iberia (IBE) Maintenance & Engineering, (SIA) Engineering Company, Sogerma Training, and SR Technics (SWS), according to the airplane manufacturer. Computer assisted training, Virtual Aircraft, and the (EDS) active learning and competence focused training concept, are some of the learning tools available.

A319-111 (3320, EC-KKS, "Halcon Peregrino"), painted in the trim introduced in 1957 by Convair-Liners, to mark its 80th anniversary! The airplane also has an image of the peregrine falcon on the nose as part of the campaign to highlight endangered Spanish species - see photo.

January 2008: 2007 statistics = 54.19 billion (RPK)s +3.3%; +1% capacity (ASK)s; +1.8 load factor for 81.6% LF. SEE ATTACHED COMPARISON CHART TO SELECTED OPERATORS - "IBE-2007-STATS."

Iberia (IBE) said online sales revenue rose +12% in 2008 to €500 million/$730.2 million and that around 12,500 passengers per day, now download and print their own boarding passes.

(IBE) increased daily, Madrid - Bogota A340 service to 10x-weekly.

The Association of European Airlines (AEA) elected (KLM) President & (CEO), Peter Hartman as Chairman for 2008. Hartman takes over from (IBE) Chairman & (CEO), Fernando Conte.

(IBE)'s Maintenance & Engineering division won authorization from Airbus (EDS) to train maintenance technicians (MT) to work on its equipment. The agreement grants (IBE) (EASA) Part 147 and Airbus (EDS) procedure certification. It also allows (IBE) to adapt training services to (EDS) technologies and practices using tools such as Computer Assisted Training and Virtual Aircraft.

(IBE) Maintenance reached a five-year deal with Italian carriers Eurofly (EUY) and Meridiana (ALS) for maintenance of 20 (CFM56-5B) engines powering eight A320s and two A319s. The work will be conducted at the (IBE) Maintenance facilities in Madrid.

(IBE)'s largest shareholder, Caja Madrid (CM), said British Airways (BAB) will have to bring something "significant" to the carrier or it might leave oneworld (ONW) and look to join another alliance, "Reuters" reported. "(IBE) does not need to change partners. It does not need capital," Caja Madrid Chairman, Miguel Blesa said. " (IBE) needs a good alliance - - a stable alliance with a big operator. There are three: (BAB), Lufthansa (DLH) or Air France (AFA)." He added that "if (BAB) offers something significant to the future of the company during conversations that have just started, it would appear a perfect agreement. If not, we will look for other alliances." (CM) strengthened its shareholding in (IBE) in November from 10% to 23.3% by exercising preemptive rights over stakes held by other members of a core shareholding group. The (CM) stake building led to the consortium headed by (TPG) and (BAB), abandoning plans for its anticipated €3.4 billion/$4.94 billion takeover bid for (IBE).

2 A319-111s (3377, EC-KME "Grulla;" 3380, EC-KMD), deliveries. A320-214 (1229), returned from Mexicana (CMA).

February 2008: Iberia (IBE) flew 4.35 billion (RPK)s passenger traffic in January, up +1% from the year-ago month. Capacity climbed +1.4% to 5.63 billion (ASK)s, lowering load factor -0.3 point to 77.3% LF.

(IBE) tallied its 12th consecutive profitable year in 2007 with consolidated net earnings of +€327.6 million/+$486.5 million, a better-than-fivefold increase over the €56.9 million it earned in 2006. Last year's results were boosted by net gains on the disposal of assets and impairment losses amounting to +€196.3 million, including the sale and leaseback of six A320s and the sale of an MD-87. In 2006, such items totaled just €4.2 million. Full-year revenue rose +2.5% to €5.52 billion, while total operating expenses dipped -0.5% to €5.24 billion, owing to cost-cutting measures and a -2.7% decline in fuel costs, resulting from a weaker dollar. Operating profit jumped +132.5% to +€283.5 million from +€121.9 million in 2006. (IBE) carried 26.9 million passengers last year, down -3.4%, comprising +8.1% growth in long-haul and drops in domestic and medium-haul passengers of -6.5% and -3.3%, respectively. Its strategy is to increase its share of the long-haul market, especially on Latin American services, and reduce its exposure to Low Cost Carriers (LCC)s domestically. Passenger traffic (RPK)s rose +3.3% to 54.49 billion on a +1% increase in capacity to 66.45 billion (ASK)s, producing a load factor of 81.6% LF, up +1.8 points and a new annual record. It reduced its average annual operating fleet by -11.5 airplanes during the year, and shrank its annual average headcount by -1,538.

For the fourth quarter, net profit soared +110% to +€104.6 million from +€49.5 in the year-ago period. Revenue grew +2.3% to €1.4 billion, while operating expenses decreased -0.4% to €1.32 billion, producing an operating profit of +€74 million, up +53.3%. Chairman & (CEO), Fernando Conte reiterated that the company is interested in acquiring Spanair (SPP) and said that if its bid for the (SAS) Group unit is successful, it will use the carrier to add more domestic and long-haul routes, especially from Barcelona El Prat, "Thomson Financial" reported.

(IBE) won three contracts with Iberworld (IBW) for airplane maintenance and logistical support services to be conducted at its shops in Madrid. Slated to begin this month and continue to December 2009, the first contract covers inspections and maintenance as well as disassembly and assembly of 10 (CFM56-5B)s powering A320s. The second calls for (IBE) Maintenance to service (IBW) airplane components. The third contract entails complete maintenance of (IBW)'s Airbus airplanes, including overhauls, structural and interior inspections, plus modifications.

(IBE) is in, and Grupo Marsans (APZ) is out, as the sale of (SAS) Group subsidiary, Spanair (SPP) took a dramatic turn. Marsans presented a formal offer in December, but later withdrew its interest, with a spokesperson telling "Thomson Financial" that the tourism conglomerate which counts Aerolineas Argentinas (ARG) among its subsidiaries, "feels a bit betrayed" by (SAS)'s decision not to keep the bidding private. Meanwhile, (IBE) released a statement saying it would launch a bid for (SPP) along with private aviation company Grupo Gestar, "Thomson" reported.

(IBE) reached a two-year extension on its handling contract with (IBW) covering services at 41 Spanish airports.

March 2008: Iberia (IBE) flew 4.1 billion (RPK)s passenger traffic in February, up +2.6% on the year-ago month. Capacity climbed +4.1% to 5.19 billion (ASK)s, and load factor slipped -1.2 points to 79.1% LF

American Airlines (AAL) and (IBE) expanded their code share agreement to include 16 new USA destinations. (IBE) flies to five USA cities. In addition, (AAL) passengers now can connect to eight Spanish and four European destinations from Madrid.

(IBE) will increase A340 frequencies from Madrid to Washington Dulles (to 5x-weekly from 3x-weekly) and Boston (to daily from 3x-weekly) in mid-June. (IBE) said its USA passenger numbers rose +21% last year. (IBE) will start 2x-weekly flights from Madrid to St Petersburg (April 1) and Dubrovnik (June 7).

British Airways (BAB) announced the purchase of 28.7 million shares of (IBE) at an average price of €2.34/$3.69 per share, lifting its stake in its Oneworld (ONW) alliance partner to 13.15%. (BAB) (CEO), Willie Walsh said, "We will consider further opportunities to increase our stake."

A consortium including Portuguese-Canadian investment fund Longstock Financial Investment Fund and Madrid-based Gadair European Airlines has offered €450 million/$693 million for Spanair (SPP), Longstock President Vitor Pinto da Costa told Diario Economico. He said the offer is well above (IBE)'s bid of €300 million, yet he admitted it could fall though owing to an (SAS) condition that the consortium pay €100 million before the deal is completed, according to "Reuters." He said the clause is unacceptable because Longstock would lose the money if the bid eventually was rejected by regulators.

An (SAS) spokesperson said the company is talking to several parties about (SPP) and still is targeting the end of June for a deal. However, Pinto da Costa told "El Mundo" that Longstock will remain interested only if it can sign a deal by the end of this month. (IBE) confirmed that it did bid for (SPP) and received a letter from (SAS) on March 14 saying it had progressed to a final round in the bidding process. (IBE) declined to say how much it offered.

(IBE) was contracted by Olympic Airways (OLY) for Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) of up to 20 (CFM56-5C4) engines and components on its A340 fleet.

April 2008: Iberia (IBE) flew 4.54 billion (RPK)s passenger traffic in March, up +1% on the year-ago month, against a -0.5% fall in capacity to 5.55 billion (ASK)s. Load factor rose +1.2 points to 81.8% LF.

Meridiana (ALS) has signed a codeshare deal with Iberia (IBE), covering services to Cagliari, Catania, and Olbia. The Italian carrier's passengers will be able to access (IBE) destinations in Spain, Portugal, Latin America, the USA, and Africa.

(IBE) reached a five-year deal with Air Europa (ARE) for Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) services on (CFM56-7B)s powering 33 737-800s. Work will take place at (IBE)'s Madrid shop.

May 2008: The Iberia Group said it its first-quarter results were "dulled" by sharp hikes in the price of fuel, resulting in a net loss of -€441,000/-$684,000, reversed from a profit of +€12.3 million in the year-ago period. It noted that net income was affected by disposal gains on airplanes of €21.7 million. Operating revenue slid -0.7% to €1.3 billion, owing to a -2.3% decrease in passenger revenue, driven by the depreciation of the dollar, overcapacity, and a longer average flight length. Total operating expenses grew +2.5% to €1.32 billion, owing to the sharp rise in the cost of fuel. Its operating loss was -€28.3 million, reversed from an operating profit of +€13 million a year earlier, despite the reporting quarter benefiting from the Easter holiday, which fell in March this year.

Network wide (RPK)s traffic rose +1.5% to 12.99 billion on a +1.6% increase in capacity (ASK)s to 16.36 billion. Load factor remained virtually unchanged at 79.4% LF. (RASK) fell -2.2% to 7.95 euro cents, with the most severe decline (-9%) registered in the medium-haul segment. Unit cost, except for fuel, improved +4.8 points to 6.12 euro cents. Including fuel, (CASK) rose +0.9% to 8.12 euro cents.

Chairman, Fernando Conte said shareholders of Clickair (CLK), in which Iberia holds a 20% stake, and its Barcelona-based competitor, Vueling Airlines (VUZ) are still talking about a possible merger. Regarding the proposed acquisition of Spanair (SPP), he said the company is "waiting for (SAS) to make a decision," while noting the sector's outlook "has toughened" since it made the offer in February.
(IBE) might reassess its offer for (SPP), which it launched in February. "The truth is the clock is ticking. The environment is changing. We have to consider what the future of our offer is within this new market environment," Chairman, Fernando Conte told a news conference before (IBE)'s annual shareholders meeting, "Reuters" reported. Regarding merger discussions with (VUZ) and (CLK), Conte said, "I believe we are very close at this point."

Meanwhile, the (SAS) Group issued a statement noting that while it still hopes to finalize the (SPP) sale before the end of the quarter, it might abandon it altogether. "The sales process continues with the interested parties with the same time target. If (SAS) does not reach a satisfactory solution regarding the divestment, (SAS) will abandon the current sales process and continue as a shareholder committed to ensure a profitable (SPP)," it said, promising it would make a decision before the end of next month.

(IBE) Finance Director, Enrique Dupuy said the carrier is looking to hedge its 2009 to 2011 fuel needs at between $110 and $120 a barrel. It currently has 48% of its 2008 fuel needs hedged at around $83 per barrel.

June 2008: Iberia (IBE) flew 4.52 billion (RPK)s traffic in May, up +6% year-over-year, against a +3.2% increase in (ASK)s to 5.68 billion. Load factor rose +2.1 points to 79.5% LF.

(IBE) decided to withdraw its bid for Spanair (SPP), shortly after telling reporters at its annual shareholders meeting that it had decided to "consider what the future of our offer is within this new market environment," "Reuters" reported. It then submitted a stock exchange filing indicating it would withdraw the bid. (SPP) parent, (SAS) Group did not comment.

Clickair (CLK) and Vueling Airlines (VUZ) shareholders likely will produce a Memo of Understanding (MOU) in the coming weeks that will trigger the merger of the two Barcelona-based Low Cost Carrier (LCC)s, (IBE) Chairman & (CEO), Fernando Conte said. The deal must be presented to the market regulator and competition authorities before a merger can take place. (IBE) will be the majority shareholder in the merged entity, but will not control the company, Conte said. He said discussions regarding the composition of management and the name of the successor airline, continue, and denied recent rumors that the merged (LCC) would keep the Vueling (VUZ) name. Conte said it would not be a typical (LCC), but an airline featuring a "new business model" tailored to the new environment in Europe. "It will be a point-to-point carrier but offer several features a traditional (LCC) does not have," he revealed, acknowledging that the merged carrier will stay closer to the (CLK) model than that of (VUZ). All flights will have the (IBE) IB code and be available for booking through its computer reservation systems. He said (IBE) "will be a 100% network carrier, with our main base in Madrid."

July 2008: Iberia (IBE) flew 4.58 billion (RPK)s traffic in June, down -2.3% year-over-year, against a +0.9% lift in (ASK)s to 5.65 billion. Load factor fell -2.7 points to 81.1% LF.

Vueling Airlines (VUZ) and Clickair (CLK) agreed to merge, according to statement sent to Spanish stock market regulators cited by both "Thomson Financial" and "Reuters." No further details were available. (VUZ) and (CLK) have been talking for months and (IBE) Chairman & (CEO), Fernando Conte, whose airline will be the majority shareholder in the merged carrier, said at last month's (IATA ) (ITA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) that a deal was imminent.

(VUZ) named (IBE) VP Maintenance Operations, Jose Luis Quiros as (COO).

American Airlines (AAL), British Airways (BAB), and (IBE) are close to applying for antitrust immunity (ATI) to form a transatlantic revenue- and profit-sharing joint venture, the "Financial Times" reported, citing executives at the carriers. (BAB) and (AAL) tried to gain antitrust immunity twice in the past, but they abandoned those efforts because they considered the concessions required to gain approval, specifically the surrender of a large number of slots at London Heathrow, to be out of balance. Earlier this year, (AAL) Senior VP International Craigh Kreeger indicated that the new (EU) - USA "open skies" agreement might spur the pair to consider another transatlantic (ATI) application. "(BAB) has been in talks with (AAL) and (IBE) for some time, but no decisions have been reached," (BAB) said. The European Commission (EC) said it had not been approached by the Oneworld (ONW) trio about the reported alliance. (BAB) and (AAL) are the only major transatlantic code sharing pair that does not benefit from (ATI).

Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA) reacted promptly and negatively to the reports. "We would oppose this attempt to create an anticompetitive alliance," Director Communications, Paul Charles said. "It would form a dominant mega-power on transatlantic air routes from two of the largest (EU) members, forcing up ticket prices for passengers and restricting choice."

An alliance of six SkyTeam (STM) airlines won antitrust immunity from USA authorities in May, while Continental Airlines (CAL) said a transatlantic joint venture with United Airlines (UAL) was one of its incentives to leave SkyTeam (STM) and join the Star Alliance (SAL).

Madrid Aerospace Services, the 50/50 joint venture (JV) between (IBE) and ST Aerospace, was founded officially, (IBE) announced. The Madrid-based facility will maintain A320, A330 and A340 landing gear and complement the current Airbus (EDS) airplane maintenance services supplied by (IBE)'s maintenance division and ST Aerospace. The European Commission (EC) cleared creation of the (JV) last month.

(IBE) increased Madrid - New York (JFK) service to 2x-daily from 11x-weekly. (IBE) will launch a Barcelona - (JFK) flight on April 25.

Amadeus Activities & Entertainment destination services platform was selected by (IBE). It will be integrated on (IBE)'s website and contain more than >7,000 bookable destination products, at more than >400 destinations worldwide. It automatically displays content according to the destination, and dates of the customer's booked flight segment.

Amadeus unveiled the "Amadeus Airline Retailing Platform," designed to allow carriers to merchandise their products through Global Distribution Systems (GDS)s much the same as they do on their own websites. Developed in conjunction with (IBE), Qantas (QAN), and other airlines, the new platform will enable carriers to showcase features and brand attributes such as flat beds or satellite television, via mouse-over popups on the availability screen. It also will present a list of upsell opportunities, such as desirable seats, lounge access or other optional services, at the time of pricing. Airlines that choose to merchandise their products through the platform will pay a per-use fee, which David Doctor, Director Airline Distribution & Low-Cost Carriers, described as "a fraction of a cent." Carriers also will have a graphical user interface, through which they can manage their distribution through all Amadeus points of sale. The retailing platform can be delivered to online travel agencies and corporate booking tools through an (API). Doctor, who introduced the new platform at the Amadeus Horizons airline forum in Bangkok, said it will automate a number of functions, including compliance with fare rules and will prompt the agent to ticket a reservation within the required timeframe. The platform will be rolled out in stages beginning in May with automatic prompts, flight attributes and banners being the first features. Additional functionality will be added in 2009 to 2010.

(IBE) signed an agreement with Slovenia's Aurora Airlines (URR) to provide component Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO ) and inspection services on MD-80 airplanes at its Madrid shop. The contract expires in December 2011.

August 2008: Iberia (IBE) flew 4.91 billion (RPK)s traffic in July, down -1.4% year-over-year, against a +0.6% lift in capacity to 5.81 billion (ASK)s. Load factor fell -1.7 points to 84.6% LF.

1st 6 months = 26.36 billion (RPK)s traffic - - see "IBE-08TOPWLD6MTHSRPK."

2nd quarter = net profit of +$33 million (+$98 million).

Spanish airports first 6 months total passengers, change % (year/year): 1. Madrid 25,714,487 (+4.9%); 2. Barcelona 15,104,278 (-2.1%); 3. Palma 9,841,476 (+0.8%); 4. Malaga 6,102,736 (-1.8%); 5. Gran Canarias 5,177,911 (+2.2%); 6. Alicante 4,562,068 (+11.5%); 7. Tenerife Sur 4,301,020 (+2.3%); 8. Valencia 2,905,657 (+5.1%); 9. Lanzarote 2,712,208 (+3.7%); 10. Girona 2,661,883 (+25.5%).

British Airways (BAB) confirmed it is currently in merger talks with (IBE). The tie-up would create a group with annual revenue of €16.6 billion/$25.89 billion and 443 airplanes carrying some 65 million passengers annually. Under the proposals, (BAB) and (IBE) would retain their brands. A new holding company would acquire the shares of both companies and be listed in London and Madrid. Walsh said it would be "several months" before talks are finalized, "but we are confident of securing regulatory approval."

(IBE) signed a maintenance and support contract with Nigeria's Dana Airlines (DAV) under which it will be responsible for the inspection, maintenance and repair of its six MD-80s and components at Iberia (IBE) Maintenance installations in Madrid.

Oneworld (ONW) partners, American Airlines (AAL), (BAB), (IBE), Finnair (FIN), and Royal Jordanian (RJA) confirmed that they filed for worldwide antitrust immunity (ATI) from the USA Department of Transportation and notified the appropriate regulatory authorities in the European Union (EU). The (ATI) application follows the signing of a "joint business agreement" among (AAL), (BAB), and (IBE), under which the trio will cooperate commercially on flights between North America and the (EU), Switzerland and Norway. Their combined network will serve 443 destinations in 106 countries with 6,200 daily departures. The carriers stressed they will share revenue but not profit and will continue to operate as separate legal entities. However, (BAB) and (IBE) are discussing a potential merger. "We believe our proposed cooperation is an important step towards ensuring that we can compete effectively with rival alliances and manage through the challenges of record fuel prices and growing economic concerns," (AAL) parent, (AMR) Chairman & (CEO), Gerard Arpey said. At present, Oneworld (ONW) is the only alliance not operating with some level of transatlantic (ATI), whereas six SkyTeam (STM) airlines and nine Star Alliance (SAL) carriers enjoy such immunity. "This has put (ONW) at a considerable disadvantage," (ONW) Managing Partner, John McCulloch claimed. (BAB) and (AAL) have applied twice for transatlantic (ATI), in 1997 and 2001, but believe they now have a greater chance of success because the industry and competitive landscape have changed so fundamentally. "We are applying for (EU) - USA antitrust immunity in a changed regulatory world, where London Heathrow is open to any USA or (EU) airline that wants to fly to the USA and where rival alliances have immunity," (BAB) (CEO), Willie Walsh stressed. "It will increase competition as the three global airline alliances will play under the same rules. We are taking a very important step towards consolidation , which is necessary in today's aviation industry," (IBE) Chairman & (CEO), Fernando Conte said.

Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA), which earlier stepped up its lobbying against the anticipated application of its main competitors at (LHR), described the deal as a "monster monopoly," claiming it would "be bad for passengers, bad for competition, and bad for the UK and USA aviation industry."

(BAB) noted coolly that there "is nothing to stop Virgin (VAA) applying for (ATI) if it found a suitable partner" and "nothing to stop (VAA) increasing competition on any transatlantic route if it thinks consumers would welcome it."

September 2008: Iberia (IBE) said it will abandon its 2x-weekly, Madrid - Gibraltar service on September 28 in response to weak demand.

(IBE) Maintenance announced deals with (GE) Aviation (GEC), SR Technics (SWS), and Gestair (REI). It signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) with (GE) to become the preferred regional fulfillment center for (CFM56-5A) engines Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. (IBE) will enter into an "OnPoint" solution agreement with (GE) for material and services. Under the agreement with (SWS), (IBE) will repair and overhaul (SWS) components from various airplane fleets in Madrid, while (SWS) provides (MRO) on (CFM56-5C)s powering (IBE)'s A340-300s. It is the first deal between the companies. Madrid-based, corporate aviation enterprise Gestair (REI) will partner with (IBE) to establish CorJet Maintenance Europe, a 50/50 joint venture providing line and scheduled maintenance, as well as unscheduled Airplane on Ground (AOG) work on corporate airplanes and logistical support and spare parts. CorJet reached a deal with Gulfstream to be an official (MRO) provider on all its models, and expects to be providing maintenance services to some 350 airplanes annually within five years of launch.

A319-111 (3651, EC-KUB), delivery.

October 2008: Iberia (IBE) raised its stake in British Airways (BAB) to 8.07%, or 93.1 million shares, the UK carrier said.

Later, (IBE) raised its stake in British Airways (BAB) to 9.07%, or 104.6 million shares, the UK carrier said. Increase comes one week after (IBE) had upped its holding to 8.07%.

The last MD-80 service was flown on October 25, when MD-88 (53310, EC-FPJ) landed at Madrid's Barajas Airport.

November 2008: Iberia (IBE) reported consolidated third-quarter net income of +€30.4 million/+$38.6 million, down -79.5% from +€148.2 million in the year-ago period, on rising fuel costs and weaker demand. Operating revenue slipped -0.6% to €1.45 billion, while costs rose +8.7% to €1.43 billion. (EBIT) fell -88.4% to €16.2 million from €139.3 million last year. Yield lifted +0.5% to 7.43 euro cents.

(IBE) did not give a full-year forecast, but Chairman & (CEO), Fernando Conte indicated during a conference call with analysts, that the airline would remain in the black. "We are confident that (IBE) will achieve a balanced result from total operating activities and a positive net income," he said. Conte remained equally confident regarding (IBE)'s merger with British Airways (BAB), although he reckoned (BAB)'s widening pension gap would affect the shareholding of the new company. "There are still some difficulties and one of them is (BAB)'s pension deficit, but we are confident we will be able to reach a successful agreement for both parties, although it will take some more time and will likely have an impact on the relative value of both companies," he said. The group is expected to announce a new strategic plan, a follow-up of its 2006 to 2008 "Director Plan," in January.

For the first nine months of 2008, net income was +€51.1 million, down -77.1% from +€223 million in the year-ago period. Operating revenue was flat at €4.12 billion, and costs increased +5.6% to €4.14 billion. Nine-month traffic fell -0.4% to 40.58 billion (RPK)s, on a +1.1% lift in capacity to 49.68 billion (ASK)s, producing a -1.2-point dip in load factor to 80.8% LF. In line with its strategy, domestic capacity declined -16.3%, long-haul rose +4.9%, and international medium-haul (ASK)s climbed +4.7%.

(IBE) will add a fifth weekly flight from Madrid to Guatemala City and Panama City on January 4 aboard an A340. (IBE) will add a sixth weekly, Madrid - Montevideo flight on January 15. (IBE) also will place its code on Pluna (PLU) flights from Montevideo to Asuncion.

(IBE) and American Airlines (AAL) extended their codeshare agreement to cover (AAL) flights from (IBE) gateway, Chicago O'Hare to Albuquerque, Buffalo, Baltimore, Charlotte, Milwaukee, Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Rochester, and San Antonio.

(IBE) and Gestair (REI) have created "CorJet Europe," a jointly-owned venture specialising in the maintenance of corporate airplanes. Based at Madrid Barajas airport, it will provide line and scheduled maintenance tasks.

(IBE) said it renovated its La Munoza maintenance hangar near Madrid Barajas to improve and extend its painting services for new and overhauled airplanes. The 2,900-sq-m facility is equipped for stripping, sanding, painting and drying various airplanes. A Saudi Arabian Airlines (SVA) 757-200 and an A320 operated by Ural Airlines (URL) are the first in line to be painted there.

December 2008: Iberia (IBE) flew 3.95 billion (RPK)s traffic in November, a -10.6% decline from the year-ago month. Capacity dropped -7.7% to 5.12 billion (ASK)s and load factor fell -2.5 points to 77.1% LF.

British Airways (BAB) faces some turbulence in its bid to take major equity stakes in both (IBE) and Qantas (QAN), with (IBE) (CEO), Fernando Conte claiming that (BAB)'s ambitions are "too complex." Speaking at an Aviation Club lunch in London, Conte reportedly argued that it would be "more reasonable" and "more rational" for (BAB) to focus on intra-continental consolidation before trying to strike a transcontinental deal. He also revealed that (BAB) (CEO), Willie Walsh told him about the (QAN) discussions only an hour before the UK carrier publicly confirmed them. "I do believe in global consolidation, but at this point, from a regulatory point of view and maybe a political one, we are still not prepared for that," Conte said. "I can tell you very sincerely that (QAN) is a brilliant company. However, I think a merger or collaboration within the European Union (EU) is a totally different scenario from one between companies on different continents." He said he did not have "too much information" about the (BAB)/(QAN) discussions and plans to meet with Walsh in order "to clarify what we are talking about." The Oneworld (ONW) partners confirmed merger talks in July. (IBE) controls 9.9% of (BAB), which in turn holds 13.2% of (IBE). (IBE) insiders have said the Spanish carrier is far from happy with (BAB), as (IBE) has rebuffed overtures from Lufthansa (DLH) and Air France (AFA)/(KLM) in order to pursue the (BAB) equity tie-up.

In Australia, editorial and public opinion appears firmly against a merger, while speculation has erupted in Malaysia that Malaysia Airlines (MAS) also may be involved in talks with (BAB) and (QAN).
Reports of talks between (QAN) and (MAS) were not denied by the latter, which remained coy on the subject of consolidation. "We are in talks with a number of airlines on collaborating and creating synergies for growth. This ranges from joint ventures and code shares to interlining partnerships," (MAS) (CEO), Idris Jala told "The Malaysian Insider."

A319-111 (3744), delivery.

January 2009: Iberia (IBE) flew 3.96 billion (RPK)s traffic in December, down -7% from the year-ago month, against a -5.7% decline in capacity to 5.21 billion (ASK)s. Load factor fell -1.1 point to 76% LF.

(IBE) will report net income of +€32 million/+$42.2 million for 2008, a -90.3% plunge from the prior year. It will suffer a -€79 million operating loss on a -1.3% decline in revenue to €5.45 billion. Passenger revenue fell -2.5% to €4.22 billion. Operating costs rose +5.5% to €5.53 billion on a +45.5% surge in fuel expenses to €1.67 billion. Capacity dropped -0.5% year-over-year and load factor was down -1.6 points to 80% LF. (IBE) will release its complete full-year and fourth-quarter results on February 27.

(IBE) as the Spanish flag carrier, is the leading carrier in the Europe-South America market. Together with Iberia Group partner Air Nostrum, an (IBE) regional, it operates an extensive scheduled network serving over > destinations in 39 countries. A further 90 destinations are served through various code share agreements. It is the head of an international transportation group that includes activities such as handling at airports, airplane maintenance, and Information Technology (IT) systems.

Employees = 23,901.

(IATA) Code: IB - 075. (ICAO) Code: IBE - IBERIA.

Parent organization/shareholders: Privately held (60%); British Airways (BAB) (10%); Caja Madrid (10%); BBVA (7.3%); Logistica (6.7%); Ahorro Corporacion (3%); El Corte Ingles (3%); & American Airlines (AAL) (1%).

Owns: Clickair (CLK) (20%); and Royal Air Maroc (2.86%).

Alliances: OneWorld (ONW); AeroSur (REO); Air Nostrum (Iberia regional); Avianca (AVI); Comair (CML); (CSA) Czech Airlines; El Al (ELA); FlyLAL (LIJ); GB Airways (GBA); Japan Airlines International (JAL); Mexicana (CMA); Royal Air Maroc (RAM); Royal Jordanian Airlines (RJA); SN Brussels Airlines (DAT)/(EBA); Swiss (CSR); SyrianAir (SYR); Tarom (TRM); TAM Transportes Aereos del Mercosul (LAP); & Ukraine International Airlines (UKR).

Main Base: Madrid Barajas airport (MAD).

Hubs: Barcelona El Prat airport (BCN); & Miami airport (MIA).

Domestic, Scheduled Destinations: Albacete; Alicante; Almeria; Asturias; Badajoz; Barcelona; Bilbao; Fuerteventura; Granada; Ibiza; Jerez de la Frontera; La Coruna; Lanzarote; Las Palmas; Leon; Logrono; Madrid; Malaga; Melilla; Menorca; Murcia; Palma de Mallorca; Pamplona; San Sebastian; Santa Cruz de la Palma; Santander; Santiago de Compostela; Seville; Tenerife; Valencia; Valladoid; Vigo; & Vitoria.

International, Scheduled Destinations: Acapulco; Amman; Amsterdam; Athens; Berlin; Birmingham; Bogota; Bologna; Bordeaux; Brussels; Buenos Aires; Cairo; Cali; Cancun; Caracas; Casablanca; Chicago; Copenhagen; Dakar; Damascus; Dublin; Dusseldorf; Edinburgh; Frankfurt; Geneva; Guadalajara; Guatemala City; Guayaqil; Havana; Helsinki; Istanbul; Johannesburg; Kiev; Lagos; Lima; Lisbon; London; Malabo; Managua; Manchester; Marrakech; Merida; Mexico City; Miami; Milan; Monterrey; Montivideo; Moscow; Munich; New York; Nice; Oaxaca; Panama City; Paris; Porto; Prague; Puerto Vallarta; Quito; Rio de Janeiro; Rome; San Jose; San Juan; San Pedro Sula; San Salvador; Santiago; Santo Domingo; Sao Paulo; Stockholm; Tangier; Tel Aviv Yafo; Turin; Venice; Veracruz; Verona; Vienna; & Zurich.

The (European Commission (EC), as expected, granted conditional approval for the merger of Clickair (CLK) and Vueling Airlines (VUZ). Clearance depends upon the release of slots at Barcelona "and other European airports to address competition concerns." (CLK), (VUZ) and (IBE), which will hold 45% of the new airline, have offered to cede slots on "all routes where competition concerns were identified," according to the (EC).

(IBE) and its pilots (FC) represented by (SEPLA) reached a tentative labor agreement retroactive to 2005 and continuing through this year. (IBE) said the deal ended a "10-year-long period of contention" and now must be approved by union membership. It calls for a one-year, +2.3% pay increase retroactive to 2007, a 2008 raise equivalent to the annual inflation rate and a +2.7% bump this year. The contract also covers productivity and job security issues and includes a -50% reduction in hours when pilots (FC) reach age 60.

(IBE) finalized a deal to add five A330-200s to be delivered in 2010 after concerting an option that it held for larger A340-600s. The airplanes will be used on medium-haul flights to the Middle East and European routes, for example Madrid - London Heathrow.

February 2009: Iberia (IBE) flew 3.83 billion (RPK)s traffic in January, a -12% decline from the year-ago month. Capacity was down -8.1% to 5.17 billion (ASK)s and load factor dropped -3.3 points to 74% LF.

While noting that last year was "one of the most difficult in recent memory," the Iberia Group still managed to achieve its 13th consecutive full-year profit with net earnings of +€32 million/+$40.8 million, down -90.2% from the +€328 million reported in 2007.
Operating revenue fell -1.3% year-over-year to €5.45 billion, reflecting "growing weakness in air traffic" and the strength of the euro relative to the USA dollar. Operating costs rose +5.5% to €5.53 billion owing to a +45.5% year-over-year increase in its fuel bill to €1.66 billion. Operating loss of -€79 million was reversed from a +€286 million operating profit in 2007.

Network-wide (RPK)s traffic fell -2.5% to 52.88 billion on a -0.5% capacity reduction to 66.1 billion (ASK)s. (IBE) said it stepped up the pace of capacity adjustments as 2008 progressed and the economic downturn intensified. Overall capacity grew +1.7% in the first half, dipped -0.2% in the third quarter and declined by a more notable -5.3% in the final quarter. In line with its strategic network restructuring, domestic capacity was cut -17.1%, while international medium- and long-haul (ASK)s increased +2.9% and +3%, respectively. Load factor lost -1.6 points to 80% LF.

Yield was down -1.1% across the network to €7.36 cents and passenger (RASK) slid -3% to €5.89 cents. Group unit operating cost climbed +6.1% to €8.36 cents but dropped -5.1% to €5.84 cents excluding fuel.

(IBE) posted a fourth-quarter net loss of -€19 million compared to a +€105 million profit in the year-ago period. Operating loss was -€63 million, reversed from a +€74 million profit in the last three months of 2007.

Looking forward, Chairman & (CEO), Fernando Conte said it is "complicated to know how 2009 will be, but I think it will be rather weak, at least for the first half." He also said he expects ongoing merger talks with British Airways (BAB) to conclude this month. "We are talking about corporate governance, the final valuation [of both companies] and then we will enter into the structure of the new company," he said in a conference call with investors.

(IBE) is planning additional capacity cuts of about -4%, comprising a -10% reduction on its domestic routes and -1.5% on long-haul. It also is targeting additional cost savings, mainly through personnel, and considering a further reduction of its fleet. It is negotiating the contract termination on wet-leases for three A340s and deferral of three new A340 deliveries for one year. It had 119 airplanes in operation at the end of 2008 compared to 136 one year earlier.

(IBE) shareholder, Caja Madrid Chairman, Miguel Blesa told reporters that a merger agreement with (BAB) is "close," "Reuters" reported from Madrid. The bank is (IBE)'s largest shareholder at 23%. "The perception now I think is that the share exchange will not be 60 - 40," he said. "(IBE) is now worth more. It will be closer to 55 - 45." (IBE)'s increased valuation has been a source of concern at (BAB).

(IBE) will operate twice-weekly seasonal Madrid (MAD) - Zagreb service from July 4 to September 20 and thrice-weekly, (MAD) - Dubrovnik flights from June 16 to September 29 aboard A320s.

March 2009: Iberia (IBE) flew 3.66 billion (RPK)s traffic in February, down -10.7% from the year-ago month. Capacity fell -7.6% to 4.79 billion (ASK)s and load factor slipped -2.7 points to 76.4% LF.

While noting that last year was "one of the most difficult in recent memory," the Iberia Group still managed to achieve its 13th consecutive full-year profit with net earnings of +€32 million/+$40.8 million, down -90.2% from the +€328 million reported in 2007. Operating revenue fell -1.3% year-over-year to €5.45 billion, reflecting "growing weakness in air traffic" and the strength of the euro relative to the USA dollar. Operating costs rose +5.5% to €5.53 billion, owing to a +45.5% year-over-year increase in its fuel bill to €1.66 billion. Operating loss of -€79 million was reversed from a +€286 million operating profit in 2007.

Network-wide (RPK)s fell -2.5% to 52.88 billion on a -0.5% capacity reduction to 66.1 billion (ASK)s. (IBE) said it stepped up the pace of capacity adjustments as 2008 progressed and the economic downturn intensified. Overall capacity grew +1.7% in the first half, dipped -0.2% in the third quarter and declined by a more notable -5.3% in the final quarter. In line with its strategic network restructuring, domestic capacity was cut -17.1%, while international medium- and long-haul (ASK)s increased +2.9% and +3%, respectively. Load factor lost -1.6 points to 80% LF.

Yield was down -1.1% across the network to €7.36 cents and passenger (RASK) slid -3% to €5.89 cents. Group unit operating cost climbed +6.1% to €8.36 cents but dropped -5.1% to €5.84 cents, excluding fuel.

(IBE) posted a fourth-quarter net loss of -€19 million/-$25 million compared to a +€105 million profit in the year-ago period. Operating loss was -€63 million, reversed from a +€74 million profit in the last three months of 2007.

(IBE) downscaled capacity on the Madrid - Barcelona route by -22% (ASK)s last year.

Looking forward, Chairman & (CEO), Fernando Conte said it is "complicated to know how 2009 will be, but I think it will be rather weak, at least for the first half." He also said he expects ongoing merger talks with British Airways (BAB) to conclude this month. "We are talking about corporate governance, the final valuation [of both companies] and then we will enter into the structure of the new company," he said in a conference call with investors.

UK Secretary for Transport, Geoff Hoon said the government would be "completely at ease" if the merged (BAB) and (IBE) chose to locate their headquarters in Spain, "The Times" reported.

(IBE) is planning additional capacity cuts of about -4%, comprising a -10% reduction on its domestic routes and -1.5% on long-haul. It also is targeting additional cost savings, mainly through personnel, and considering a further reduction of its fleet. It is negotiating the contract termination on wet-leases for three A340s and deferral of three new A340 deliveries for one year. It had 119 airplanes in operation at the end of 2008 compared to 136 one year earlier.

Finnair (FIN) Technical Services (FTS) and Iberia (IBE) Maintenance signed a seven-year component support agreement under which (IBE) will provide spares and related repair services for (FIN) A330s and A340s. (FTS) in turn will perform component repairs on (IBE) A320s and (CFM-56B) engines. The contract is expected to generate around €30 million/$37.8 million in turnover. The work will commence in April, when (IBE) is scheduled to send an A320 to (FTS) for heavy maintenance.

The Iberia Group reorganized and renamed its handling unit as Iberia Airport Services (IAS), which it believes "better reflects the unit's activities" and will be "accompanied by a more extensive supply of airport services." (IAS) is active at 41 Spanish airports and handled nearly 80 million passengers and more than >418,000 airplane operations for (IBE) and 220 other carriers in 2008.

April 2009: Iberia (IBE) flew 4.21 billion (RPK)s traffic in March, down -7.3% from the year-ago month. Capacity fell -3.6% to 5.35 billion (ASK)s and load factor dropped -3.1 points to 78.7% LF.

(IBE) warned that a full-year profit is "unlikely" if "current difficult economic conditions persist." It posted a +€32 million/+$41.7 million profit in 2008, down -90.2% from the prior year. It said in an investor update that it faces an "important decrease in revenues" owing to a "weakness" in traffic, a declining number business passengers and falling yields. It said a "contingency plan" will be introduced when it announces its first-quarter results on May 12.

(IBE) and (SEPLA) pilot (FC) union representatives signed a long-overdue collective agreement covering the five-year period from 2005 through 2009. The deal includes salary freezes for 2005 through 2006 and increases of +2.4%, +3.5% and +0.6% for 2007, 2008 and 2009, respectively. The new agreement also incorporates productivity and flexibility measures to improve customer service and allows for pilots (FC) 60 to 65 years old to fly at 50% of the maximum allowed flying hours.

On the environmental front, (IBE) was awarded Spain's (AENOR) standards bureau's first certificate for a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. (IBE) lowered emissions on its walk-on shuttle service between Madrid and Barcelona by -7% last year by replacing 757s and MD-80s with A320 family airplanes and installing lighter seats in the cabins.

(IBE) launched daily, Madrid - Sofia service. Bulgaria Air (LZB) is code sharing.

May 2009: The Iberia Group unveiled a broad cost-cutting plan intended to save more than >-€200 million this year as it reported a first-quarter consolidated net loss of -€92.6 million/-$122.3 million, a steep deterioration on the -€0.4 million lost in the year-ago period. Citing a large decline in overall demand and business class (C) traffic in particular, (IBE) said operating revenues plunged -15.6% to €1.09 billion against a -6.5% drop in operating expenses to €1.25 billion. Its operating loss ballooned to -€147.3 million from -€28.3 million. (IBE) said it has low visibility regarding 2009 full-year results but warned that if the current extraordinarily difficult conditions persist, it is "unlikely" to post a profit. The "severe contingency plan" being implemented immediately comprises a -€80 to -€90 million cut in investment spending and operating savings of -€110 to -€125 million to be achieved through a cut in capacity (it parked five A320s this month) and temporary layoffs, a hiring freeze and non-renewal of temporary hiring contracts. Payroll containment measures are under study, along with a moratorium on pay rises and a freezing of executive salaries. Investments that are not related to improving customer services or that have no direct and immediate impact on earnings are being put on hold. (IBE) said the capacity cuts will be "selective and temporary, and will not entail withdrawal from any markets." Delivery of new airplanes will be postponed.

"For 2010, we envisage a probable return to profitability with the impact of our contingency plan if the fuel price remains at current levels, even with today's traffic and revenue figures," Chairman & (CEO), Fernando Conte said in a conference call with analysts. He remained "positive on the outcome of [merger] negotiations" with British Airways (BAB), admitting it was taking longer than expected owing in part to the volatility of financial markets and its impact on (BAB)'s pension deficit as well as the difficulty in the sector.

(IBE) trimmed first-quarter capacity by -6.1% to 15.37 billion (ASK)s but traffic declined -9.5% to 11.75 billion (RPK)s, pushing down passenger load factor -2.9 points to 76.5% LF. Operating revenue per (ASK) fell -10.1% year-on-year to €7.14 cents, while (CASK) decreased -0.2% to €8.10 cents. Passenger yield narrowed -9% to €6.42 cents.

A320-214 (3882), delivery.

June 2009: Iberia (IBE) flew 4.02 billion (RPK)s traffic in May, a -11.4% drop from the year-ago month. Capacity fell -9.6% to 5.15 billion (ASK)s, lowering load factor -1.6 points to 78% LF.

(IBE) (CEO), Fernando Conte told shareholders that (IBE) expects to report a full-year loss for the first time in 13 years as premium passenger numbers have fallen -20% so far, "The Financial Times" reported. When unveiling its -€92.6 million/-$131.5 million first-quarter loss three weeks ago, (IBE) said a full-year profit was "unlikely." "We are going through the worst global economic crisis we have ever seen, and our revenues and profits are being seriously affected," Conte said. (IBE) is attempting to reduce operating costs by -€200 million.

Meanwhile, (CFO), Enrique Dupuy sent a veiled warning to prospective merger partner British Airways (BAB), claiming that the Spanish carrier has "very attractive alternatives" and that it would be "a very good fit with (BAB), but also with Deutsche Lufthansa (DLH) and Air France (AFA)/(KLM)." (BAB) (CEO), Willie Walsh said two months ago that he did not feel "under any calendar pressure" to conclude the tie-up. Dupuy continued: "Our main competitors in Europe are beginning to consolidate. We cannot afford to compete . . . on a standalone basis," Dow Jones reported. Conte said the merger process with (BAB) "is having a normal level of complexity" and that "work continues on both sides to find agreement on those elements of greatest importance."

(IBE) announced that it will operate seasonal services from Madrid to Zagreb (2x-weekly, July 4 to September 20), Dubrovnik (3x-weekly, June 16 to September 21) and St Petersburg (2x-weekly, June 2 to September 29).

Qantas Airways (QAN) announced its first code share arrangement with Iberia (IBE). On July 15, (QAN) will place its code on (IBE) flights from Madrid to Frankfurt (FRA) and London Heathrow, while (IBE) will place its code on (QAN) service from (FRA) and (LHR) to (SYD). Those flights will be (IBE)'s first under its code to Australia.

(IBE) and ST Aerospace officially commemorated the opening of Madrid Aerospace Services (MAeS), their joint venture (JV) company created to carry out landing gear Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) on A320, A330 and A340 airplanes. The 50/50 (JV) has completed and delivered 10 landing gears since early April and received the first shipset from its inaugural third-party customer, SriLankan Airlines (LNK), with a target completion date of July. (MAeS) expects to employ about 100 technicians at full capacity.

(IBE) Maintenance signed a three-year engine Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) agreement with Yakutia Airlines (SYL) covering two Rolls-Royce (RRC) (RB211-535-E4)s and a contract with India's Blue Dart Aviation (BDA) for (MRO) on three (RB211-535-C37)s powering its 757-200F freighters.

A320-216 (3952), and A340-642 (960, EC-LEU), deliveries.

July 2009: Iberia (IBE) will not be required to launch a full bid for Vueling Airlines (VUZ) following its merger with Clickair (CLK), Spanish stock market regulator "CNMV" ruled. (IBE) will own 45.9% of the merged entity, exceeding the 30% threshold that normally triggers the obligation to make a full bid under domestic regulations. Completion of the two competitors' merger is expected in mid-July.

(IBE) Chairman & (CEO), Fernando Conte has resigned and will be replaced by former (IBE) board member and former (CEO) of Spanish tobacco company, Altadis Antonio Vazquez. Conte is leaving for personal reasons, an (IBE) spokesperson said, stressing that the move was not related to the delay in (IBE)'s merger with British Airways (BAB). "This has absolutely nothing to do with shareholder pressure, the merger with (BAB), or results," the spokesperson said, adding that merger discussions continue. He noted that Conte informed the board at the beginning of the year that he intended to retire before he turns 60 in March 2010.

"This has been a very carefully thought-out decision . . . which I did not want to make until my successor had been decided and continuity in the management of the company had been assured. I am leaving with the feeling of a job well done," Conte said in a statement. Conte was an (IBE) board member from 2001 until 2003 and sat on Amadeus's board from 2000 until 2003. He was named Chairman & (CEO) of (IBE) in June 2003 and was Chairman of Oneworld (ONW) in 2005 and 2006. (IBE) also appointed Rafael Sanchez-Lozano as Managing Director and (COO).

Travelport signed a new multi-year global full-content agreement with Iberia (IBE).

A340-642 (1017, EC-KZI), delivery.

August 2009: Iberia (IBE) flew 4.73 billion (RPK)s traffic in July, a -3.7% fall from the year-ago month. Capacity was down -3.8% to 5.58 billion (ASK)s and load factor rose +0.2 point to 84.8% LF.

(IBE)'s board asked the airline's new Chairman & (CEO), Antonio Vazquez, to look into alternatives to its merger with British Airways (BAB), "el Economista" reported.

(IBE) announced the reorganization of its management structure including splitting its airline division into a Commercial & Clients division "focusing on generating income" and a Production Division "charged with enhancing profitability." The former will be led by Maintenance & Engineering Division Manager, Manuel Lopez Aguilar and the latter by Production Management Unit Head, Juan Bujia. The former Airline Division led by Enrique Donaire has been dissolved. A new Purchasing and Services Division led by Jose Maria Fariza will be asked to "rationalize expenditures." The new Maintenance & Engineering Division will be headed by Jose Luis Ruiz de Castaneda de la Llave.

The Iberia Group said it will ground three more A320s and postpone delivery of an A340-600 this year, bringing its full-year capacity reduction to -6% from -4.3% previously.

(IBE) already had parked five A320s and delayed delivery of an A340-600 from October 2009 to September 2010. It made the announcement as it reported a second-quarter net loss of -€72.8 million/-$103.8 million compared to income of +€21.2 million in the year-ago period.

Accelerating the €200 million contingency plan unveiled in May, (IBE) intends to "cancel or postpone about half of its planned investments," with total capex this year of around €100 million. It will increase staff cuts beyond the -4.7% head-count reduction carried out since the second quarter of 2008 that has seen the workforce decline to 20,760 from 21,793.

Second-quarter operating revenue sank -22% to €1.07 billion with passenger revenue down -24.3% to €803.7 million on a -16.5% drop in unit revenue. Budget measures and savings on fuel enabled (IBE) to show a -12.8% decline in operating expenses to €1.20 billion. Recurring (EBIT) was a negative €129.6 million compared to minus -€4 million last year. Operating expense per (ASK) fell -6.5% to 7.65 euro cents. Load factor rose +1.5 points to 81.3% LF on a -6.6 cut in (ASK)s to 15.67 billion. Traffic was down -4.8% to 12.73 billion (RPK)s with the heaviest hit in the domestic market, off -6.2%. Long-haul traffic dropped -5.5%. Cargo (RTK)s plummeted -26.3% to 216 million.

The capacity cuts will be felt most on the long-haul network, where (ASK)s will decline -3.6% versus -1% previously. The domestic reduction is unchanged at -10.4% and medium-haul capacity will decrease -8.9% versus -8.6% previously.

For the six months ended June 30, (IBE) lost -€165.4 million compared to income of +€20.7 million in the year-ago period. Revenue declined -18.9% to €2.17 billion. Nearly a third of that shortfall was attributable to a slump in business travel, it said. Looking forward, it believes the decrease in passenger unit revenue probably has bottomed out, with margins expected to improve in the third and fourth quarters compared to the first half.

September 2009: Iberia (IBE) flew 4.56 billion (RPK)s traffic in August, down -6.5% year-over-year, against a -4.4% cut in capacity to 5.53 billion (ASK)s. Load factor fell -1.8 points to 82.4% LF.

Iberia (IBE) Maintenance reached agreement with (SAS) Scandinavian Airlines to provide "C" and "D" maintenance checks on its MD-80s, A330s and A340s.

October 2009: Iberia (IBE) flew 4.07 billion (RPK)s traffic in September, down -8.1% year-over-year, against a -6.3% cut in capacity to 5.16 billion (ASK)s. Load factor slipped -1.6 points to 79% LF.

(IBE) and Gol (GOT) signed a code share deal under which (IBE) will add its code to (GOT) flights from Rio de Janeiro Galeao and Sao Paulo Guarulhos to 13 Brazilian destinations. (IBE) and (GOT) said they "are also evaluating the possibility" of linking their loyalty programs.

The European Commission (EC) confirmed that it sent a "statement of objections" to American Airlines (AAL), British Airways (BAB) and Iberia (IBE) in September, warning the carriers that their proposed cooperation on transatlantic services "may be in breach of European rules on restrictive business practices." The (EC) in April opened an antitrust inquiry into the proposal, which would see the Oneworld (ONW) partners deepen their cooperation across the Atlantic by coordinating commercial, operational and marketing activities, in particular by jointly managing schedules, capacity and pricing as well as sharing revenue on transatlantic routes. The (EC)'s specific objections were not made public. It emphasized that issuance of the document to the carriers "is a formal step in Commission antitrust investigations" that does "not prejudge the final outcome." The carriers can respond in writing or request an oral hearing.

"We have received the (EU)'s statement of objections and look forward to the opportunity to address and overcome the (EU)'s concerns, especially given the substantial benefits for consumers," (BAB) said in a statement. "The (EU)'s thorough review of our plans and supporting evidence was anticipated."

Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA), a vocal critic of the proposed transatlantic pact, "welcomed" the (EC)'s issuance of objections, stating, "(VAA) would expect the (EC) to find that the proposed alliance would damage competition and consumer interests on all six of the routes from [London] Heathrow to the USA on which (BAB) and (AAL) both operate currently. These include Heathrow to New York (JFK) on which (BAB) and (AAL) together would control 62% of all capacity and would have an unassailable grip on time-sensitive premium passengers."

The Spanish government will lend domestic airlines up to €600 million/$895.8 million in 2010 to 2012 in order to "avoid possible restructuring or bankruptcies," it said in a statement cited by "Dow Jones."

Describing the current situation as "unsustainable," (IBE)'s board approved a strategic plan that includes creation of a new short/medium-haul carrier, long-haul expansion (mainly to/from Latin America), an additional -€37 million/-$55.5 million annual reduction in overhead costs over the next two years and a "radical" change of approach designed to generate more revenue.

The strategy, called "Plan 2012," will follow a 2009 to 2011 initiative aimed at boosting operating profit by +€450 million through cost cuts and efficiency improvements. "The airline industry has never experienced such a dramatic situation. It is essential for us to use imaginative means to transform (IBE) into a sound and viable project," (COO), Rafael Sanchez-Lozano said. The Iberia Group posted a consolidated net loss of -€165.4 million in the first half and expects to report a full-year deficit for the first time in 14 years. Six-month operating revenue plunged -18.9% and unit revenue dropped -13.4% year-over-year.

The new short- and medium-haul airline will operate as an independent entity within the group. It will not be a point-to-point Low Cost Carrier (LCC) like Vueling Airlines (VUZ)/(CLK), in which (IBE) has a 45% share, but a full-fledged network carrier offering a service similar to (IBE)'s and feeding the profitable long-haul network through its Madrid hub. (IBE) aims to have it operating in 2011.

"Given the difference in the performance and competitiveness of (IBE)'s long-haul business in contrast to the short- and medium-haul routes, (IBE) is posing two well-defined strategies that allow it to be larger while simultaneously cutting losses," it stated. "The goal is to grow (IBE), not shrink it so it becomes an easy takeover target," a spokesperson said. "We have a leading market position on the Europe-to-Latin America routes and we want to maintain and grow this. We have, however, a structural problem in our domestic and European operations. Thus, we are proposing a total different model, with markedly lower operating costs and no 'legacy' work practices, which will allow us to compete with other carriers and the high-speed train."

The spokesperson acknowledged that "many things have to be solved," especially union opposition, "although the new strategy is about securing jobs." (IBE) Chairman, Antonio Vazquez started discussions with union representatives.

Meanwhile, (IBE) is facing flight disruptions owing to a two-day strike called by the (CTA) and (SITCPLA) cabin attendant (CA) unions. Flights operated by Vueling (VUZ), (IBE) Regional/Air Nostrum and other airlines using (IBE) codes will not be affected, (IBE) said. Flights to/from the Canary and Balearic Islands, plus nearly all long-haul flights, also will operate normally.

November 2009: Iberia (IBE) flew 4.17 billion (RPK)s traffic in October, down -5.1% from the year-ago month. Capacity fell -6.6% to 5.17 billion (ASK)s and load factor rose +1.3 points to 80.6% LF.

In an announcement that highlighted the reasons it agreed to merge with British Airways (BAB), Iberia (IBE) reported a -€16.4 million/-$24.5 million third-quarter loss that represented a reversal from the +€304 million profit earned in the year-ago period.

Operating revenue plunged -19.6% year-over-year to €1.17 billion "in keeping with the trend throughout the year, as passenger traffic continued to decline, particularly in the business segment," (IBE) said. Costs were cut -14.9% to €1.22 billion and the company swung to a -€56 million operating loss from a +€21.3 million surplus in the 2008 third quarter. It credited capacity and staff cuts for its improvement from the first and second quarters of 2009.

Traffic fell -6% to 13.37 billion (RPK)s against a -4.8% cut in capacity to 16.28 billion (ASK)s, lowering load factor -1.1 points to 82.1% LF. Yield dropped -13.8% to 6.41 euro cents and operating (RASK) was down -15.5% to 7.17 euro cents. Unit cost fell -10.6% to 7.5 euro cents, or -0.8% to 5.6 euro cents excluding fuel.

IB ended the quarter with 114 airplanes compared to 125 the prior year. Its nine-month loss of -€181.9 million compared to a +€51.1 million profit after the first three quarters of 2008. It said its financial position was "sound" as its net debt position remained negative. (IBE) and British Airways (BAB) recently announced a merger agreement.

British Airways (BAB) and Iberia (IBE) agreed to a "binding" Memo of Understanding (MOU) to merge under a single holding company that will be 55% controlled by (BAB) shareholders and led by (BAB) (CEO), Willie Walsh, paving the way for establishment of a third major European airline company by the end of 2010 that would have annual revenue of about €15 billion/$22.5 billion, a fleet of 419 airplanes and a route network comprising 205 destinations.

The proposed new holding company, to be called "TopCo," will be created through an all-share transaction in which (BAB) shareholders will receive one new share for every existing (BAB) share and (IBE) shareholders will receive 1.0205 new shares for each existing (IBE) share. TopCo will be incorporated in Spain and board and shareholder meetings will occur in Madrid with (IBE) Chairman & (CEO), Antonio Vazquez serving as Chairman, and (BAB) Chairman, Martin Broughton serving as Deputy Chairman. The company's operating and financial headquarters will be in London, where "principal management functions" will be handled under Walsh's guidance. TopCo's shares will be traded on the London Stock Exchange.

Walsh long has pushed for the combination, arguing that (BAB) and (IBE) need "enhanced scale" to compete with Air France (AFA)/(KLM) and an expanding Lufthansa Group. "The merger will create a European airline well able to compete in the 21st century," he said, adding that "both airlines will retain their brands and heritage while achieving significant synergies as a combined force."

The carriers claimed the merger will create annual synergies of around €400 million and noted that (BAB) will gain access to as many as 59 new destinations, including 13 in Latin America, while (IBE) will have access to up to 98 new airports. They argued that TopCo will have a "highly complementary network fit worldwide, in particular combining (BAB)'s strong presence in North America, Asia/Pacific and Africa, with (IBE)'s strong Latin America presence," and will benefit by "optimizing the dual hubs of London and Madrid."

(BAB) and (IBE) are aiming to sign a definitive merger agreement in the 2010 first quarter, present the transaction for shareholder approval next November and formally combine the following month. The deal is subject to relevant regulatory approvals and (IBE) "will be entitled to terminate the merger agreement if the outcome of discussions between (BAB) and its pension trustees is not, in (IBE)'s reasonable opinion, satisfactory." Under the terms of the merger (MOU), neither (IBE) nor TopCo can fund (BAB) pension schemes.

(BAB) said in July it had agreed to terms with the trustees of its defined benefit pension programs "to release some bank guarantees back to the airline," freeing "up to" £330 million/$550.4 million in bank facilities.

(BAB)/(IBE) said that for at least five years after merging, both will "keep their main base in their home country," TopCo's strategy will reflect "the importance of both London and Madrid hubs," networks operated from each hub will be "balanced" and labor relations will be handled "locally." Work actions by cabin crew (CA) in recent days have forced (IBE) to cancel hundreds of flights. Unions representing the workers said that additional work actions will take place on November 30, December 2 and Dececember 14 to 18.

While Walsh will serve as TopCo (CEO), (BAB) (CFO), Keith Williams will become (CEO) of British Airways (BAB) OpCo and (IBE) (COO), Rafael Sanchez-Lozano will become (CEO) of Iberia (IBE) OpCo.

Antonio Vazquez, (IBE) Chairman & (CEO) stated "This agreement is a giant step in the history of both (IBE) amd (BAB). We are laying the foundations of what will be one of the most important airlines in the world - - a real global airline."

(BAB) and (IBE) are probably "marrying for money" but can their combinations of main bases at London and Madrid, compete with the power of fusing Paris with Amsterdam and Rome, or with that formed by Frankfurt merging with Zurich, Brussels and Vienna.

French slot coordinator (COHOR) said it redistributed a pool of 6,672 slots at Paris Orly for the summer 2010 season, with half awarded to carriers with new entrant status and half to incumbents. New entrant slots were allocated to easyJet Switzerland (TEB) for two daily flights to Venice, Vueling Airlines (VUZ)/(CLK)`and Pegasus Airlines (PGS) for one daily flight each and to Wizz (WZZ) for four weekly flights to Bratislava. Incumbent slots were allocated to (TAP) Portugal for three daily flights, Iberia (IBE) for one daily flight, Midex Airlines (MIX) for three weekly flights, and Air Algerie (ALG) for one weekly flight.

Iberia (IBE) Maintenance won a three-year contract to provide line maintenance for DHL in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, and Vitoria.

December 2009: Iberia (IBE) flew 3.72 billion (RPK)s traffic in November, a -5.9% decline from the year-ago month. Capacity was cut -6.8% to 4.79 billion (ASK)s and load factor rose +0.7 point to 77.8% LF.

British Airways (BAB) said that Iberia (IBE) Managing Director and (COO), Rafael Sanchez-Lozano joined the board as a non-executive director. The merger agreement between the airlines gave (IBE) the right to nominate a director to the (BAB) board.

January 2010: Iberia (IBE) flew 3.85 billion (RPK)s traffic in December, a -2.7% drop from the year-ago month. Capacity was cut -6.4% to 4.87 billion (ASK)s, lifting load factor +3 points to 79% LF.

(IBE)'s merger with British Airways (BAB) could be concluded next month, according to Caja Madrid Chairman, Miguel Blesa. The head of (IBE)'s largest shareholder (23%) told reporters, "We're on the right track. I think February will be decisive for the deal. There's not much left that needs agreeing to, if anything at all. I don't know if it will be [signed] in February but it won't go past March," according to "Reuters." The merger Memo of Understanding (MOU) was signed in November.

(IBE) will operate new weekly flights from Madrid to Amman and Damascus July 3 to October 30 aboard an A319 and will re-launch summer services to Washington Dulles (3x-weekly from March 29), St Petersburg (2x-weekly from June 1), Dubrovnik (4x-weekly from June 20) and Zagreb (2x-weekly from July 3). Frequencies to Frankfurt, Munich, Boston, Quito, Buenos Aires, and Bogota will increase.

Iberia (IBE) took delivery of a new A319, the first airplane to join its fleet since deliveries were suspended more than a year ago as (IBE) reduced capacity. (IBE) now operates 77 A320 family airplanes, including 22 A319s.

(IBE) and S7 Airlines (SBR) are code sharing on each other's Madrid (MAD) - Moscow Domodedovo service. (SBR) operates the route weekly and (IBE) will increase its 11x-weekly flight to 2x-daily at the end of March. It will resume its 2x-weekly (MAD) - St Petersburg service on June 1.

February 2010: Iberia (IBE) said January unit revenue was "slightly higher" than in the year-ago month. (IBE) flew 3.92 billion RPKs traffic, up +1.8%, while capacity was cut -5.7% to 4.9 billion (ASK)s. Load factor rose +5.9 points to 80% LF.

The Iberia Group ended what may be its final year as an independent carrier on a sour note, reporting a consolidated net loss of -€273 million/-$369.8 million for 2009, reversed from a +€32 million surplus the prior year.

The deficit also ended a 13-year annual profit streak for (IBE) that is merging with British Airways (BAB). Operating revenue plunged -19.2% to €4.46 billion and operating expenses declined -10.9% to €4.93 billion. (IBE)'s operating loss widened sharply from a -€79 million deficit in 2008 to -€464 million last year.

"This market has changed for good," Chairman, Antonio Vazquez was quoted as saying by the Financial Times. "Traditional airlines as we know them will disappear, but we're not about to cry about it."
To adapt to falling demand, Iberia reduced its fleet by 10 units and ended 2009 with 109 airplanes through cancellation of leases, postponement of new deliveries and "mothballing" of some planes. It cut capacity by -6% to 62.16 billion (ASK)s, driven by a 11% reduction in Spanish routes and a -10.6% cut on its European network. Long-haul capacity fell -3.3%. Traffic was down -6.2% to 49.61 billion (RPK)s and load factor slipped -0.2 point to 79.8% LF.

Full-year passenger revenue fell -21.2% to €3.33 billion with yields across the network sinking -14.1% to €6.32 cents "due to mix deterioration, an intense pressure on pricing in most markets and the effect of an increase in average stage length," (IBE) said. (RASK) decreased -14.3% to €5.05 cents and (CASK) was down -6.3% to €7.84 cents. Cargo revenue fell -27.4% to €251 million, handling revenue decreased -3.3% to €266 million, and maintenance revenue rose +4.2% to €310 million.

Fourth-quarter loss widened to -€91 million from -€19 million in the year-ago period, on a -19% decline in revenue to €1 billion.

Regarding the planned merger with (BAB), Vazquez said he expects the signing of a definitive agreement will take place "in the coming weeks" and that it will enter effect "more or less at the end of the year," the "Associated Press" reported.

The European Commission (EC) confirmed that it is assessing "the effectiveness of proposed commitments" received from Oneworld (ONW) alliance partners: British Airways (BAB), American Airlines (AAL) and Iberia (IBE) designed "to alleviate" its concerns over anti-competitive aspects of their proposed joint venture (JV).

The airlines wish to jointly manage schedules, capacity and pricing and share revenue on transatlantic routes. The remedies proposed by the trio relate to passenger transport on certain long-haul routes, the (EC) said, noting that it has "no further comment at this stage" and that the offer requires further investigation before it "reaches any conclusion as to the next steps." The (EC) opened its investigation last April and sent a formal statement of objections to the carriers in September, identifying a number of long-haul routes, mainly between London Heathrow (LHR) and the USA, with potential antitrust issues (ATI). (BAB) (CEO), Willie Walsh and (AAL) Chairman & (CEO), Gerard Arpey repeatedly have stated that there is no rational basis for them to relinquish slots at (LHR).

Sources told "Dow Jones" that the carriers had reconsidered and were in discussions to that effect. A (BAB) spokesperson told the news service, "We don't see any need to give up slots." The (EC) is conducting parallel investigations into the proposed cooperation among four Star (SAL) Alliance members: - - Lufthansa (DLH), Continental Airlines (CAL), United Airlines (UAL) and Air Canada (ACN) - - and among SkyTeam (STM) alliance members. The USA Department of Transportation also must sign off on the (ONW) (JV).

Later, the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a show cause order tentatively approving the application for antitrust immunity (ATI) from Oneworld (ONW) alliance partners (AAL), British Airways (BAB), Iberia (IBE), Finnair (FIN) and Royal Jordanian (RJA) and also tentatively approved the three-way transatlantic joint venture (JV) among (AAL), (BAB) and (IBE) under which the carriers jointly will plan and manage capacity and share revenues.

But the (DOT) said the (ONW) alliance "could harm competition" on certain routes between the USA and London Heathrow (LHR) and is requiring that the carriers surrender four slot pairs at (LHR) for up to 10 years to enable competitors to launch new USA - (LHR) service. (AAL) and (BAB) had argued that they should not have to give up slots at (LHR). They withdrew an earlier application in 2002 for (ATI) rather than surrender slots at Heathrow. The European Commission (EC) also has identified competitive concerns but has yet to render a decision.

The (DOT)'s ruling came less than a day after Japan Airlines (JAL)/(JAS) and (AAL) applied for (ATI) to operate as one airline for commercial purposes on transpacific routes.

In its finding, the (DOT) said that "the proposed [transatlantic] alliance would enhance competition around the globe by creating a viable third immunized alliance that is comparable and more competitive with the product and service offerings of the Star (SAL) alliance and SkyTeam (STM) alliance, which have already received grants of antitrust immunity (ATI) and are proceeding with their own alliance plans and integrated joint ventures (JV)s."

However, the department noted that granting (ATI) to (AAL) and (BAB) will have the effect of boosting the combined carriers' market share at (LHR) to 47.4% and is proposing to require divestiture of four slot pairs, two of which will be earmarked for new service in the Boston - (LHR) market, while two may be used in any USA - (LHR) city-pair. It added, "This slot remedy would offset the potential loss in competition that results from combining the international operations" of (AAL) and (BAB).

The slot surrenders need not be permanent - - the (DOT) is "proposing that the applicants make the slots available for a period of 10 years from the date of issuance of a final order in this case." It also will require changes to the agreement "to ensure capacity growth, and require the carriers to submit traffic data and implement the proposed alliance within 18 months of a final decision."

In a statement, (AAL) said it "will review the (DOT)'s tentative order and will respond according to the time frame established for comments."

The tentative finding came less than 24 hours after (AAL) and Japan Airlines (JAL)/(JAS) applied for (ATI) to operate as if they are one airline for commercial purposes on flights between North America and Asia. The filing, which had been expected, followed (JAL)/(JAS)'s decision last week to maintain its membership in the Oneworld (ONW) alliance rather than jumping to the SkyTeam (STM) alliance, which had been wooing the bankrupt carrier for several months. (JAL)/(JAS) and (AAL) said they also will notify Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of the application. Should (AAL) and (JAL)/(JAS) receive (ATI), they will "cooperate commercially on flights while continuing to operate as separate legal entities . . . coordinat[ing] fares, services and schedules in order to attract new customers and boost revenues." They noted that the (JBA) will be "metal neutral," meaning both "will benefit from a customer's ticket purchase regardless of which one carries the passenger, as the airlines will share revenue on all (JBA) flights."

Iberia (IBE) increased its 2x-daily, Madrid (MAD) - Buenos Aires A340 service to 17x-weekly. (IBE) will operate its 3x-weekly, (MAD) - Washington Dulles service scheduled to launch March 29 with an A340 featuring (IBE)'s upgraded business class (C) with lie-flat beds. A 4x-weekly flight will operate June to August. (IBE) also will add a 4x-weekly, (MAD) - Boston frequency in March and a 5x- in June, with daily service scheduled to start in July.

(IBE) and its franchise partner, Air Nostrum have announced new routes that will be launched throughout 2010:
Barcelona - Toulouse: 4x-weekly CRJ-200 service starting on March 28;
Bilbao - Dubrovnik: weekly seasonal CRJ-900 service between July 3 and September 5 (operated by Air Nostrum);
Madrid - Amman Queen Alia: 2x-weekly A319-100 service starting on July 3;
Madrid - Damascus: weekly seasonal A319-100 service between July 13 and October 19;
Madrid - Washington Dulles: 4x-weekly A340-300 service resuming on March 28;
Seville - Almeria: 2x-daily CRJ-200 service has started on January 15 (operated by Air Nostrum).

(IBE) is considering setting up a new subsidiary that will operate all of its services with its A319/A320/A321 fleet at a lower cost than today. It has signed a code share agreement with GOL Transportes Aéreos (GOT) allowing its passengers connections to domestic destinations in Brazil via Rio de Janeiro International and Sao Paulo Guarulhos.

(IBE) has wet-leased a 757-200F freighter from Gestair Cargo (REI) for cargo services between Madrid and Maastricht.

A319-111 (3744, EC-LEI), removed from storage.

March 2010: Oneworld (ONW) alliance partners British Airways (BAB), American Airlines (AAL) and Iberia (IBE) offered to lease at least four daily slot pairs at London Heathrow (LHR) or Gatwick (LGW) to competing carriers for service to three USA cities in order to address regulatory concerns about their proposed transatlantic joint venture (JV).

Early last month the European Commission (EC) said it was assessing "the effectiveness of proposed commitments" by the airlines designed to address a formal Statement of Objections issued last September. At that time, the (EC) identified a number of long-haul routes, mainly between (LHR) and the USA, with potential antitrust issues (ATI).

Later in February the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) tentatively granted antitrust immunity (ATI) to the (ONW) alliance joint venture (JV) under the condition that the carriers surrender four slot pairs at (LHR) for up to 10 years. The (DOT) did not suggest (LGW) was an acceptable alternative. (AAL) and (BAB) repeatedly have resisted ceding slots at (LHR).

(BAB) issued a statement addressing the (EC) investigation and pledged that the trio will make available for lease to non-(ONW) alliance airlines, two daily slot pairs to Boston from either (LHR) or (LGW), one daily slot pair to Dallas/Fort Worth from (LHR) or (LGW) and one daily slot pair to Miami from (LHR) or (LGW). In addition, two slot pairs from London to New York (JFK) could be made available "should today's competitive conditions between [the cities] change," according to (BAB).

"The slots can be leased from the airlines' current slot portfolio and don't have to be slots currently used on the specified routes. The (EC) has agreed that the airlines should be compensated financially by those airlines wishing to lease slots," (BAB) said.

"We're pleased that the (EC) has recognized that we should be compensated for leasing the slots. This reflects the fact that there is an active slots market in London where slots are generally traded for value," (BAB) (CEO), Willie Walsh said. There had been speculation that the (EC) might demand the slots be surrendered for free. The initial leasing period will be five years, a (BAB) spokesperson said, adding that the decision regarding which airline will give up which slot will be finalized once regulatory approval is finalized.

The (EC) is expected to conduct its "market test" phase, which allows third parties to comment on the airlines' proposal, before making a final decision on April 10.

Regarding the USA (DOT) ruling, the (ONW) trio reiterated that it is "reviewing the order and will respond by the time frame established for comments," and said it "welcomed the (EU)'s announcement that it will be working closely with the USA (DOT) and taking into account its opinion at key points in the regulatory process." A final (DOT) ruling is expected at the end of April.

(SITA) is partnering with Spanish and Portuguese air navigation service providers (AENA) and (NAV) Portugal to deliver data link infrastructure for pre-operational testing in preparation for introduction of Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) across the Iberian Peninsula by 2013. (CPDLC) will enable pilots (FC) and Air Traffic Control (ATC) to exchange certain routine messages via data link and will replace radio telephone communication.

Amadeus Information Technology (IT) Holding announced plans for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in the first half of this year. The travel reservations technology provider hopes to raise €910 million/$1.23 billion. It currently is 52.8% -owned by (WAM) Acquisition, whose shareholders are London-based, private-equity firms (BC) Partners and Cinven. Air France (AFA) holds 23.1% and Iberia (IBE) and Lufthansa (DLH) 11.6% each. Amadeus said 2009 revenue rose +1.8% from 2008 to €2.46 billion and (EBITDA) was up +2.3% to €894 million.

A319-111 (3651, EC-KUB), and A340-642 (993, EC-LCZ), removed from storage.

April 2010: Iberia (IBE) flew 4.07 billion (RPK)s traffic in March, down -3.2%, while capacity was cut -6.8% to 4.98 billion (ASK)s. Load factor rose +3 points to 81.7% LF.

May 2010: Iberia (IBE) narrowed its first-quarter consolidated net loss to -€52 million/-$65.5 million, a +43.8% improvement over the -€92.6 million deficit in the year-ago period, on a -4.4% decline in revenue to €1.05 billion.

Operating costs narrowed -9.5% year-over-year to €1.13 billion, owing to a 21% reduction in fuel expenses as well as capacity cuts and cost control measures. Consequently, recurring operating loss almost halved to -€75.5 million from a negative -€147.3 million (EBIT) a year earlier.

In contrast to most other European airlines, (IBE) said its results will not be too badly affected by the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud disruptions. Spanish airspace and Madrid Barajas remained largely open during the April 15 - 21 period following the eruption. (IBE)'s financial impact from the closures is estimated at -€17 million. It cancelled more than >1,000 flights and provided some 9,000 hotel rooms.

Capacity was scaled back by -6.6% in the quarter to 14.4 billion (ASK)s, but (RPK)s fell just -1.2% to 11.6 billion, improving load factor by +4.4 points to 80.8% LF, the "best load factor among [European] network carriers," according to Managing Director and (COO), Rafael Sanchez-Lozano. (IBE) said there was a "recovery in demand" during the year's first three months and noted that business traffic is "also staging a gradual recovery in the long- and international medium-haul segments, where the revenue performance was stronger than for domestic flights."

Passenger yield improved steadily over the course of the quarter but still registered a decline of -1.9% to €0.0631. (RASK) rose for the first time since the 2007 third quarter, up +3.7% to €0.051. Total passenger revenue fell -5.1% to €789.2 million. Cargo revenue was +7.3% higher to €74.4 million, owing to a +34.5% jump in (RTK)s with "particularly noteworthy growth in cargo volumes originating in Europe for transportation to America."

(IBE) is still targeting to launch a new short/medium-haul carrier by the end of this year, Chairman & (CEO), Antonio Vazquez told analysts. He remained vague on the exact model of the new airline, explaining that it would be "defined later on" following agreement with the pilots (FC). He added that negotiations with pilots (FC) are ongoing and the "tone is very positive."

Iberia (IBE) Maintenance won a contract from Cathay Pacific Airways (CAT) to repair and maintain 49 (CFM56-5C4) engines on 11 A340-300s. The work will be carried out at (IBE)'s engine workshop near Madrid Barajas.

June 2010: Iberia (IBE) flew 4.22 billion (RPK)s traffic in May, a +4.8% increase over the year-ago month. Capacity grew +0.3% to 5.17 billion (ASK)s, lifting load factor +3.5 points to 81.6% LF.

(IBE) Chairman & (CEO), Antonio Vazquez reiterated (IBE)'s intent to launch a separate carrier operating its short- and medium-haul flights with a "model that is substantially different than the existing one," and stressed that the decision is "irreversible," "Agence France Presse" reported. He said that continuing to operate short- and medium-haul flights in the same manner as long-haul would "mortgage the future of the company." Vazquez said he is hoping to reach an agreement with unions on the new carrier in the next several weeks.

To capitalize on traffic growth, Iberia (IBE) is expanding operations to Latin America, but also is adding flights to the Middle East and some European destinations, strengthening both its long- and medium-haul operations. (IBE) says the network expansion announced June 11 is the largest single growth spurt in city-pairs in its history. The Latin American market is already critical to (IBE) and one of the big attractions for British Airways (BAB) in its merger deal with (IBE). Cordoba in Argentina will be added to the network on October 1, which (IBE) says makes it the first European carrier to offer transatlantic operations there. On the same day, flights to San Salvador will start. (The flight from Madrid has a stopover in Guatemala, but not the return leg). Later that month, Madrid - Panama City operations will begin. The latter two destinations will be operated using A340-300s.

Closer to home, (IBE) will be using A319s to open routes to Amman, Jordan, on July 3 and Damascus, Syria, on July 13. The Jordan operation begins with two weekly roundtrip flights, while Syria is connected once per week. On September 16, 2x-weekly flights will take off to Oran, Algeria, the second destination for (IBE) in the North African country after Algiers.

Within Europe, St Petersburg has this month already rejoined the network after falling off the previous winter season; Dubrovnik, Croatia, service will pick up again on June 20, and flights to Zagreb will start July 3.

July 2010: The USA Department of Transportation (DOT) issued its final clearance of antitrust immunity (ATI) for American Airlines (AAL), British Airways (BAB), Iberia (IBE), Finnair (FIN) and Royal Jordanian (RJA) to "more closely coordinate international services" including a planned (AAL)/(BAB)/(IBE) joint venture (JV) on transatlantic flights.

The granting of (ATI) follows on the heels of the European Commission (EC)'s approval and cements the (DOT)'s tentative approval earlier this year.

"The department found that granting (ATI) to the Oneworld (ONW) alliance will provide travelers and shippers with a variety of benefits, including lower fares in some markets, new nonstop routes, improved services and better schedules," the (DOT) said. "The (DOT) also said that the (ONW) alliance will enhance competition around the world by enabling the (ONW) alliance to compete more vigorously with Star (SAL) Alliance and SkyTeam (STM) Alliance, which operate similar immunized alliances." The (DOT) said that to alleviate any anti-competitive concerns the carriers had agreed "to make four pairs of slots at [London] Heathrow available to competitors for new USA - London service, with two pairs to be used for Boston - London service and the other two for service from any other USA cities."

(AAL) Chairman & (CEO), Gerard Arpey said, "We are pleased that USA and (EU) regulators have approved our long-sought-after alliance proposal. We look forward to delivering enhanced competition for customers on transatlantic flights."

British Airways (BAB) (CEO), Willie Walsh added, "This final approval is fantastic news for [(AAL)/(BAB)/(IBE)] and the Oneworld (ONW) alliance. We've waited 14 years to bring the benefits of the transatlantic joint business to our customers and level the playing field with the other two global alliances. We're pleased that the (DOT) and the (EU) have worked together to ensure that there is consistency in the number of slots that the three airlines have to give up for our competitors to use on services from Heathrow to the USA."

August 2010: Iberia (IBE) operated 4.98 billion (RPK)s traffic in July, a +5.3% increase over the year-ago month. Capacity grew +1.9% to 5.69 billion (ASK)s, lifting load factor +2.8 points to 87.6% LF.

(IBE) plans to open its new maintenance hangar October 15 in Barcelona, says Jose Luis Quiros Cuevas, (IBE) Maintenance’s VP Sales, Marketing & Business Development. The hangar will be able to simultaneously accommodate four narrow bodies, two wide bodies, or one wide body and two narrow bodies.

(IBE) took delivery of a new A340-600, expanding its fleet to 113 airplanes including 35 A340s (18 A340-300s and 17 A340-600s). The new wide body will be deployed on (IBE)’s long-haul routes to Latin America, the USA, and South Africa and is equipped with its new Business Plus configuration featuring full lie-flat seats.

September 2010: Iberia (IBE) Maintenance signed a 5 year-contract with Onur Air (ONU) to exclusively maintain the components of (ONR)'s three A330s. The contract covers the repair of entire systems, such as Line Replaceable Units (LRU)s, navigation and communications systems, and other components. (IBE) additionally inked a 3-year "Time & Material" contract with Vietnam Airlines (VIE) under which it will be responsible for the repair of line replaceable unit (LRU)s on (VIE)'s A320 fleet, including electro-hydraulic selectors and bypass valves. Repairs will be carried out at (IBE) maintenance facilities in Madrid.

(IBE) started 2x-weekly, Madrid – Oran service on September 16.

The planned merger between British Airways (BAB) and Iberia (IBE) under holding company International Airlines Group (IAG) is nearing its final stage following (IBE)’s approval of (BAB)’s £3.7 billion/$5.8 billion pension deficit funding plan.

“We carefully reviewed (BAB)’s pension deficit plan and the board cleared this last condition,” (IBE) Managing Director & (COO), Rafael Sanchez confirmed in Barcelona.

The next step is gaining approval of both airlines’ shareholders. “We have not yet set a date, but I expect the general shareholders meeting will take place in November,” Sanchez said, adding that the merged company will be up and running around year’s end. “I expect shareholders of both companies will be sensible to realize this is a positive merger.”

(IBE) had until September 23 to exercise its right to terminate the merger agreement if the outcome of discussions between (BAB) and its pension trustees was not in its “reasonable opinion” satisfactory.

(IBE) is still in talks with cabin crew (CA) and pilots (FC) regarding the terms under which its new short and medium-haul carrier will be established. “We are still far away. We decided we need a new short-haul model, and we will get it,” Sanchez said. “This is a strategic issue. It is important we solve the problem [of addressing the losses of its short-haul network]. We know how to solve it and we prefer to do it with the support and in consensus with the different employee representations.” Sanchez declined to confirm the new carrier would operate as "Iberia Express." “We registered about 20 names,” he said, noting that the new short-haul carrier will be launched in due course but that the merger has been a priority. "We have been focusing on the merger and how to achieve €400 million/$534 million in annual synergies."

The International Airlines Group (IAG), the holding company formed by the British Airways (BAB) and Iberia (IBE) merger, appointed (IBE) Chairman & (CEO), Antonio Vazquez as Chairman of the board, (BAB) Chairman, Martin Broughton has been named Deputy Chairman and (BAB) (CEO), Willie Walsh has been named Managing Director.

October 2010: Iberia (IBE) operated 4.48 billion (RPK)s traffic in September, a +10.1% increase over the year-ago month. Capacity grew +4.3% to 5.38 billion (ASK)s, lifting load factor +4.4 points to 83.4% LF.

Iberia (IBE) has seen a strong turnaround in its third-quarter financial results, but remains in a holding pattern on its critical initiative to revamp its shorthaul operation. The third-quarter operating result for (IBE) swung to a +€71-million/+$98.5 million profit from a -€54-million loss the prior year, with the operating result for the first nine months still slightly in the red, however, at €1 million. The consolidated income for the group at the end of September stood at a profit of +€53 million, compared with a loss
of -€182 million the year before. The third-quarter results are being driven by a +7.7% increase in (RPK)s traffic on a +3.4% in (ASK)s capacity. Airline officials signal that one area where they are seeing good growth is in operations to Mexico, indicating (IBE) is benefiting from Mexicana (CMA)’s cessation of operations. Looking ahead, (IBE) is waiting for the outcome of a pilots (FC) union election to continue negotiations over a new short-haul operation, says (CEO), Antonio Vazquez. (IBE) is looking to set up a new operation that can be financially viable at a time when stiff competition has put huge pressure on the short-haul network. Vazquez expects the incumbent union leaders to be retained, which would enable talks to proceed more smoothly. However, while he expressed confidence in a positive outcome, Vazquez would not project when the new airline would be operational. (IBE) also now expects its merger with British Airways (BAB) to take effect on January 21.

As to the operational outlook for next year, (IBE) notes that capacity will likely increase +3%. Fuel has been hedged at around 60% at current spot levels.

Oneworld (ONW) alliance carriers British Airways (BAB), Iberia (IBE) and American Airlines (AAL) are to open four new routes next April as part of their new transatlantic joint venture (JV). (AAL) will operate New York (JFK) - Budapest and Chicago - Helsinki, connecting the USA gateways with the bases of Oneworld (ONW) members Malev (HGA) and Finnair (FIN).

(BAB) will operate London Heathrow - San Diego, while Iberia (IBE) will open Madrid - Los Angeles.

(ONW) disclosed the routes at an event marking the three-way tie-up in London. (BAB) (CEO), Willie Walsh describes the venture as "historic", adding: "We've waited 14 years for this."

(AAL) is placing its code on 322 (BAB) and Iberia (IBE) flights, while (BAB) will add its code to 2,063 (AAL) and Iberia (IBE) flights.

(IBE)'s code will feature on 354 flights operated by (BAB) and (AAL).

"There will be further opportunities to increase code shares in future," Oneworld (ONW) adds.

(IBE) launched 3x-weekly, Madrid Barajas - Cordoba service. (IBE) launched 4x-weekly, (Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays) Madrid Barajas – San Salvador service. (IBE) will launch 3x-weekly service from Barcelona El Prat to Sao Paulo Guarulhos and Miami on March 28 using an A340-300.

Iberia Airlines (IBE) introduced its new 14-seat business (C) club section on its longest medium-haul flights. The first flight with the new seating, which features two seats on each side, and 55-cm-wide seats, was aboard its Madrid – Malabo route. The seat will also be available on flights from Spain to Lagos, Moscow, Tel Aviv, and Cairo.

Iberia (IBE) officially opened its new maintenance hangar in Barcelona on October 20. The initial staff of 60 is undergoing training. Beginning in November, the hangar will undertake inspections of two airplanes simultaneously.

November 2010: British Airways (BAB) and Iberia (IBE) shareholders voted in favor of the merger of the airlines at special meetings in London and Madrid, respectively, ending years of speculation and on-and-off discussions that took off following (IBE)'s announcement in spring 2007 that it was open to a full or partial sale.

The merger, which was agreed to by both companies’ boards in November 2009 with an official agreement signed in April, will see the integration of (BAB) and (IBE) in the International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG). The merger is expected to be finalized by January 24, when the (IAG) will begin trading on stock exchanges. (BAB) shareholders will own 56% of the company.

(BAB) acquired an initial stake in (IBE) along with its Oneworld (ONW) alliance partner American Airlines (AAL) in 1998 and bought out (AAL) in 2006, raising its shareholding to around 10%. In May 2007, (BAB) joined a consortium led by private equity firm (TPG) to make an offer for (IBE) but the group withdrew its €3.4 billion/$4.5 billion offer some months later. (BAB) then increased its shareholding further to about 13%.

While (BAB) and (IBE) will disappear from the stock exchange screens, both airlines will retain their brands, traffic rights and operational independence. (BAB) (CEO), Willie Walsh will become the (IAG) Chief Executive and (IBE) Chairman & (CEO), Antonio Vazquez will be board Chairman.

"We are very happy the shareholders gave their approval to the merger," Vazquez said. "Without a doubt, it is a historical agreement that will create a global group to lead a future consolidation process in the airline business."

The airlines expect annual synergies of €400 million starting in the fifth year following the merger. (BAB) posted a net loss of -£425 million on revenue of £7.99 billion in its fiscal year ended March 31 and carried 31.8 million passengers. (BAB) ended Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 - 2010 with 238 airplanes in operation. (IBE) reported a consolidated deficit of -€273 million for 2009, ending a 13-year annual profit streak, on operating revenue of €4.46 billion. (IBE) ended the year with 109 airplanes and carried 25.6 million passengers.

Based on combined passenger count, the (IAG) would be Europe's fourth largest carrier group after the Lufthansa (DLH) Group, which enplaned more than >76 million passengers in 2009, the Air France (AFA)/(KLM) Group, which boarded 71.4 million passengers, and Ryanair (RYR) which boarded 66.5 million passengers in its most recent fiscal year.

Unite, which represents the majority of the (BAB) cabin crew (CA), remains unaffected by the merger approval and announced it will hold a fresh ballot among members on further strike action in its dispute with management over pay and staffing levels. (BAB) criticized the action, which (BAB) claims violates an understanding that it had with Unite leadership to submit an agreement reached in October to rank and file members for a vote. It vowed that, in the event of a fresh strike, its contingency plans will allow operation of normal time timetables at London City and Gatwick airports and all long-haul flights at Heathrow.

December 2010: Oneworld (ONW) alliance partners American Airlines (AAL), British Airways (BAB) and Iberia (IBE) are expanding their transatlantic relationship by adding up to 317 new code share routes to their current joint venture (JV). The new code share routes expand the joint business agreement approved two months ago to more than >400 destinations in 100 countries from December 28, according to the three airlines. Five previously announced routes are also scheduled to launch in the spring.

“When we launched the joint business in October, we said that we would be rolling out more benefits to customers, and this introduction of more code share flights across our three airlines is exactly that,” says (BAB)’s Commercial Director, Andrew Crawley. “The feedback we’re getting from customers is very positive already, and we will continue to align our policies in order to bring them even more benefits.” With this latest addition, (AAL) will add its ‘AA’ designator code to +57 more (BAB) flights to 16 markets, including five North American services to London Heathrow International Airport, and 10 European cities served through London Gatwick International Airport. (AAL) also adds two new (IBE) services from both Barcelona’s El Prat International Airport and Madrid Barajas Airport. (BAB), meanwhile, will add its ‘BA’ code to 42 additional (AAL) flights to 18 markets through Boston Logan International Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, New York John F Kennedy International Airport, and Miami International Airport, and 56 (IBE) flights to eight markets, mostly through Madrid.

(IBE)’s IB code is also added to 72 (AAL) flights in 23 markets and 86 (AB) flights to 24 markets. “Today’s announcement continues to demonstrate how our stronger relationship with our Oneworld (ONW) alliance partners delivers value to our customers,” says (AAL)’s Chief Commercial Officer, Virasb Vahidi. “Expanded code sharing makes it easier and more convenient for our respective customers to travel on the global networks of all three airlines and delivers on our promise of more choices, easier connections and a better overall travel experience.”

Manuel Lopez Aguilar, (IBE) General Director, Commercial & Clients, adds, “The expanded code sharing that will be in place before the end of the year is another benefit for our customers; this has to be added to the new routes that we will be launching from next spring, which in the case of (IBE) are Madrid - Los Angeles and Barcelona - Miami. We could not operate these new routes without the joint business.”

January 2011: SEE ATTACHED "IBE-2011-01-2010 WORLD TOP TRAFFIC."

(IBE) has added a new online check-in service. Its "Through Check-in" service will enable customers to obtain boarding cards for (IBE) code share or connecting flights on 29 airlines, including its 11 partners in the Oneworld (ONW) airline alliance.

February 2011: International Airlines Group (IAG), formed by the merger of British Airways (BAB) and Iberia (IBE) last month, reported a pro-forma net profit of +€90 million/+$124 million in the quarter ended December 31, 2010, reversed from a -€130 million deficit in the year-ago period, as revenue and yields strongly increased on limited capacity growth.

(CEO), Willie Walsh said the group is closely monitoring the “current political instability in the Middle East and its impact on fuel prices,” and conceded that (IAG) airlines will “adjust and even reduce capacity” if demand is being impacted by the rise in fuel prices.

Both (BAB) and (IBE) previously passed on an average of 50% of fuel increases to passengers through fuel surcharges and “this is still a valid proposition,” Walsh said, noting that despite recent increases in fuel surcharges on (BAB) and (IBE)’s long-haul flights, demand has thus far not been affected. Walsh also said he was not too worried about a possible collapse of traffic to/from the Middle East as the region represents just 6% of (IAG)’s capacity.

Revenue for the quarter rose +13.4% to €3.81 billion compared to the year-ago period, with passenger revenue up +15.6% to €3.3 billion on +2.7% growth in capacity (ASK)s and a +12.7% improvement in (RASK) to €0.0631. Passenger yield was €0.0809, 13.1% higher on the year-ago period. Cargo revenue heightened +28.2% on a +3.2% increase in freight traffic (FTK)s and a +24.2% jump in yield to €0.19.

Operating costs for the quarter were up +9.5% to €3.8 billion with €119 million in non-recurring items, including €19 in impairment costs related to the scrapping of two 747s and merger completion costs of €26 million. In addition, there was a €43 million bonus provision after performance criteria were met and a €71 million impact related to the adverse winter conditions and the Air Traffic Control (ATC) strikes in Spain in December.

Operating profit for the quarter was +€6 million, vastly improved on the -€114 million operating loss in the year-ago period. According to a presentation during the investors’ webcast, (BAB)’s (EBIT) for the quarter was €44 million while (IBE) posted a -€46 million operating loss. Pro-forma operating margin for the group was 0.2%.

Pro-forma full-year net profit for the combination amounted to +€100 million, compared to a -€777 million deficit in 2009, and operating profit came in at +€225 million, reversed from an operating loss of -€910 million. Revenue heightened +10% to €14.8 billion (ASK)s and operating cost rose just +1.4% to €14.6 billion. (ASK)s were reduced by -3.4% while (RASK) was up +13.9% to €0.0618. Passenger yield improved +13.9% to €0.0793. (CASK) rose +5% to €0.0731 with fuel cost per (ASK) rising just +0.5% to €0.0196.

(IAG) said its long-haul business remains strong, particularly in the premium sector, but highlighted concern with its short-haul European market, which continues to be highly competitive. It is confident it is “on track” to deliver synergy targets. The planned combined (AIG) capacity growth for the first half of 2011 is +6.8% over the first half of 2010, with the (ASK) growth arising from increased sector lengths and the change in the network mix with the ongoing shift to long-haul. The number of seats in the fleet actually is set to decrease by about -1% year to year.

In its last nine months as a stand-alone listed airline, (BAB) posted a consolidated net profit of +£170 million/+$275 million, reversed from a -£245 million loss in the year-ago period. Revenue rose +8.8% year-over-year to £6.68 billion and operating cost inched up +1.8% to £6.34 billion. Operating profit came in at +£342 million, compared to an operating loss of -£86 million in the nine months to December 31, 2009.

The Iberia Group reported consolidated net income of +€89 million for 2010, compared with a -€273 million deficit posted in 2009. Operating revenue increased by +8.2% to €4.77 billion and operating costs declined -2% to €4.77 billion. (EBIT) amounted to a loss of -€3 million, versus a -€463 million loss in 2009, and “would have been comfortably in the black" except for the April volcanic ash crisis and Spanish air traffic control (ATC) disputes.

Iberia (IBE) launched 3x-weekly, A340/300 Madrid service to Fortaleza and Recife.

March 2011: Iberia (IBE) launched Madrid - Los Angeles, Shanghai - Rome on China Eastern (CEA), Beijing - Dusseldorf on Air China (BEJ), and Newark - Oslo on (SAS).

Representatives of the Spanish government, Iberia (IBE) and Airbus (EDS) signed an agreement to develop "a complete Spanish ‘value chain’ for sustainable and renewable aviation biofuel for commercial use." The value chain concept unites farmers, oil refiners and airlines in a three-stage biofuel program, according to Airbus (EDS). Phase one is the feasibility study. Phase two will identify the most promising solutions "to a demonstration level," and phase three beginning in 2014 "will look at implementation and scaling up" of the biofuel production process.

“Climate change is a major challenge for our industry. The aviation sector’s ambitious CO2 reduction target is only possible if biofuels become a reality. Under this initiative, (IBE) brings extensive experience in flight operations and in airplane maintenance to perform the necessary tests that will make this goal a reality," said Chairman, Antonio Vazquez, one of the signatories to the agreement. Others were Transport Secretary of State, Isaias Taboas, and Airbus President & (CEO), Tom Enders, who stated, “All industry players including governments have a role in helping to reduce global CO2 emission levels. Airbus is supporting value chains to accelerate the commercialization of aviation bio-fuels.” The partners said that "other key members are expected to join the agreement shortly."

(IBE), which merged with British Airways (BAB) into the International Airlines Group (IAG) in January, said it reached agreement with Airbus (EDS) to order eight A330-300s with options for eight more. (IBE) said they will deliver between fall 2012 and spring 2014, and are earmarked to replace “up to 16 A340 family airplanes.” (IBE)'s widebody fleet consists of 18 A340-300s and 17 A340-600s. Engine selection was not announced.

“The A330 is an excellent aircraft, both in terms of comfort and operational performance, and it will be a welcome addition to Iberia (IBE)’s fleet. It also provides us with considerable cost benefits due to its lower fuel consumption and commonality with (IBE)’s existing long-haul airplanes,” (IAG) (CEO) Willie Walsh said in a statement. With the new airplanes and options, “(IAG) will have the flexibility to determine the overall size of (IBE)’s long haul-fleet and capacity in the future,” it added.

April 2011: British Airways (BAB) and Iberia (IBE) will combine their cargo business and network into a single business unit reporting to the International Airlines Group (IAG) although both cargo operations will retain their current brands. There will be a small cargo management team within (IAG), while all other cargo employees will continue to work for their current airline. The combined business will be led by Managing Director, Steve Gunning and Deputy Managing Director, Ignacio Diez Barturen. They were previously Managing Directors of (BA) World Cargo and Iberia (IBE) Cargo, respectively.

Iberia (IBE)'s Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) division converted an A330-200 passenger airplane into a Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) equipped for mid-air refueling. The conversion is part of a contract between (IBE) Maintenance and Airbus (EDS) Military to convert civilian airplanes into (MRTT)s, and reflects (IBE)'s strategy of reorienting its maintenance business toward technologically challenging, high value-added activities, said (IBE) Exercutive VP Maintenance & Engineering, Jose Luis Ruiz de Castaneda.

(IBE) engineers and technicians (MT) spent 140,000 man hours on the conversion, modifying 5,500 system components and making structural changes to 2,000 parts. An additional 58.5 km of wiring was installed, including 1,000 m each of coaxial cable and fiber-optic cable.

(IBE) Maintenance carried out 122 "C" and "D" airplane maintenance checks and inspected and repaired 200 engines and 53,587 airplane components in 2010. Last October, it commissioned a new maintenance hangar at Barcelona Airport.

May 2011: The International Airlines Group (IAG), formed by the merger of British Airways (BAB) and Iberia (IBE) in January, reported a first-quarter net profit of +€33 million/+$48.7 million, turned around from a pro forma net deficit of €243 million in the year-ago period. Net income includes a €83 million book gain related to the acquisition of (IBE) and an €80 million tax credit.

"These are the first-ever (IAG) results and they show an improved performance compared to last year. Revenue is up due to increased volumes, particularly in the premium cabins, and improved yields, which also showed good premium growth," said (IAG) (CEO), Willie Walsh, noting that the group also "achieved a significant reduction in our controllable costs."

Revenue rose +15.4% to €3.64 billion; €98 million, or 3.1%, was owing to currency translation. Total operating costs were up +10.3% to €3.74 billion with 3% related to currency. Fuel costs were up +30.9% to €1.13 billion. (IAG) expects its fuel bill for the full year will be about €5.2 billion, roughly €100 million above its previous estimate in February. "Fuel costs remain the big challenge facing the industry," Walsh warned. First-quarter operating loss was narrowed -57.1% year-over-year to €102 million.

Passenger revenue jumped +14.9% on capacity growth of +9.1% to 51.12 billion (ASK)s and a +5.2% improvement in (RASK) to €0.059. North American unit revenue was boosted by strong demand in premium cabins, whereas (RASK) growth is slowing on Latin American routes owing to capacity increases, (IAG) said in a presentation to analysts and journalists.

Passenger yield rose +8.8% to €0.0799. Cargo revenue for the quarter increased +24.5% as cargo yield heightened +14.3% to €0.192 on a +8.9% rise in traffic to 1.51 billion (CTK)s. Passenger capacity was increased without additional airplanes and employees, which highlights "the good work that has been done in previous years," according to Walsh. The group had 346 airplanes in operation and employed 56,159 people during the reporting quarter.

The group flew 37.77 billion (RPK)s in the first quarter, up +5.6% over the year-ago period. The number of passengers carried heightened +3.2% to 11.5 million. Load factor dropped -2.4 points to 73.9% LF. Total cost per (ASK) inched up +1.1% to €0.0731, comprising a -5.2% reduction in non-fuel unit costs to €0.0511 and a +20.1% hike in fuel (CASK).

(IAG) said it expects the ongoing impact of the earthquake/tsunami in Japan and political unrest in the Middle East and North Africa to reduce full-year operating profit by between +€90 million and +€100 million. Nevertheless, it still targets "significant" growth in operating profit with improvements in both unit revenue and unit cost performance compared to 2010. It said it is on track to reach synergy targets and its planned +8% growth in capacity (ASK)s for the full year compared to 2010 remains "essentially unchanged," although it retains flexibility to cut capacity, if necessary, from the fourth quarter.

"Our long-haul business is stable, with strength in the premium sector, but the short-haul European market remains highly competitive," it said.

(IBE) will launch 2x-weekly, Madrid - Rabat A320 service on July 1.

June 2011: The International Airline Group (BAB)/(IBE) reported a first-quarter net profit of +€33 million/+$48.7 million. (IAG) Group (CEO), Willie Walsh noted that premium long-haul traffic remains strong, but the European market is still under pressure.

Iberia (IBE) resumed 2x-weekly, Madrid - St Petersburg Pulkovo service on June 4. (IBE) will increase Madrid - Moscow service to 2x-weekly in June and September, and will again increase the service to 4x-weekly in July and August. (IBE) launched 2x-weekly, Madrid - Brussels and weekly, Madrid - Gran Canaria - Nouakchott 737F cargo service. (IBE) launched 2x-weekly, Barcelona El Prat - São Paulo Guarulhos service.

July 2011: Iberia (IBE) reached a code share agreement with Air Berlin (BER), under which (BER) will place its code on (IBE) service to Madrid from Berlin Tegel (SXF), Dusseldorf (DUS), Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, and Geneva. (IBE) will place its code on (BER) routes from (SXF), (DUS), Hamburg and Stuttgart to Barcelona as well as from (DUS) to Bilbao and from Cologne/Bonn to Valencia.

Iberia (IBE) and British Airways (BAB) parent, the International Airlines Group (IAG) firmed up an order for eight A330-300s plus eight options. (GE) (CF6-80E1) engines were selected to power the airplanes, which will begin delivering in 2013. The engine deal is valued at $200 million at list prices. The airplane order, first outlined in a Memo of Understanding (MOU) earlier this year, is for the future (IBE) fleet. The A330s "can be easily assimilated into Iberia's existing long-haul fleet, reducing the need for additional crew training and maintenance costs," (IAG) (CEO), Willie Walsh stated.

The (IAG) said the A330s are designated to replace up to 16 A340s in (IBE)'s fleet and "will give the (IAG) the flexibility to determine the overall size of (IBE)'s long-haul fleet and capacity in the future." (IBE) currently operates 19 A340-300s and 17 A340-600s on long-haul flying.

Additionally, the (IAG) signed a 15-year OnPointsolution agreement with (GE) for (CF6) Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) materials and services. The A330-300 has a range of up to 5,600 nm and is typically configured to seat around 300 passengers.

August 2011: The International Airlines Group (IAG), parent of British Airways (BAB) and Iberia (IBE), distinguished itself from rivals suffering losses or significantly reduced earnings by posting a net profit of +€71 million/+$101.8 million for the 2011 first half, reversed from a pro-forma (BAB)/(IBE) -€352 million net deficit in the first six months of 2010.

"(IAG) is on target to deliver its year one synergies," (CEO), Willie Walsh said. (BAB)/(IBE) expect annual synergies of €400 million starting in the fifth year following the merger. "Customers are also directly benefiting through airline website cross-selling, more fare and schedule choice on overlapping long-haul routes and easier access to more destinations via new code shares."

The (IAG) said the strong half-year result was achieved despite fuel costs lifting +34% year-over-year to €2.44 billion. It noted that non-fuel unit costs lowered -5.6% compared to the 2010 first half.

The (IAG) said it expects "improvements in both our unit revenue and unit cost performance [for the full year 2011] versus 2010 and are on track to reach our synergy targets. Our long-haul business is stable, with strength in the premium sector, but the short-haul European market remains highly competitive"

The (IAG) projected that "events in Japan and North Africa/Middle East [will] have a negative impact on operating profit for the full year of +€90 to +€100 million."

Iberia (IBE) has increased 5x-weekly, A319 Madrid - Malabo service to 6x-weekly.

September 2011: Iberia (IBE) will launch Madrid - Luanda service on October 28.

October 2011: The Spanish newspaper "El País" reports that this
could be a pivotal month for Iberia (IBE)’s plans to launch a new low-cost shorthaul unit. No fewer than 37 A320-family airplanes (more than half of (IBE)’s shorthaul fleet) would be transferred to the new unit, which executives have previously referred to as "Iberia Express" (although that could change). The idea emerged in 2009, and (IBE) originally hoped to launch the carrier by late 2010. Since then, though, it has merged with British Airways (BAB) and battled with unions, which aren’t happy about the shorthaul plans. Cabin crew (CA) now have agreements that allow for a new shorthaul airline, but pilots (FC) have taken a harder line, saying the new unit would be illegal and its own proposed cuts and productivity improvements equally effective. The newspaper says (IBE)’s board will meet to approve the plan, and then the board of the combined (BAB/(IBE) will meet to decide whether to give its blessing. (IBE), which faces low-cost short haul competition as intense as any European legacy carrier in its home market, has struggled for years to stop the shorthaul bleeding. In Barcelona, it partners with the Low Cost Carrier (LCC) Vueling (VUZ) (of which it also owns 46%). It also contracted with (VUZ) to provide temporary shorthaul feed in Madrid, but only one of the original six airplanes in that arrangement remains in service there because (according to "El País," anyway) of complaints from (IBE)’s customers. (VUZ) offers some business-friendly shorthaul amenities, such as blocked middle seats for high-paying customers, but not the true shorthaul business class (C) product that’s present on (IBE) and other European legacy carriers.

Iberia (IBE) this month conducted its first commercial flight powered by biofuel, using an A320 from Madrid to Barcelona. The flight utilized a mixture of 75% conventional A-1 jet fuel and 25% biofuel derived from camelina.

The biofuel was a mixture made by (ASA) of synthesized paraffin bio-kerosene produced by Honeywell (SGC)-(UOP) and evaluated and certified by Repsol. The flight achieved a reduction of nearly -1,500 kg of carbon dioxide emissions.

Chairman, Antonio Vazquez said, "The fight against climate change is one of the greatest challenges we face, and biofuel is essential for reducing our reliance on petroleum, increasing our competitiveness, and achieving the ambitious emissions-reduction targets set by the airline industry."

Iberia (IBE) has signed a seven-year Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) contract with British Airways (BAB) covering its (CFM56-5B) engines, powering its A318 airplanes.

November 2011: The International Airlines Group (IAG) reported a -26.2% drop in third-quarter consolidated net profit to +€267 million/+$367 million, compared to +€362 million earned in the year-ago period. It cited increases in fuel costs for the decline.

(IAG), the parent of British Airways (BAB) and Iberia (IBE) said its quarterly fuel bill spiked +25% to €1.38 billion. Total operating expenses were up +7.1% to €4.14 billion, outpacing a +2.2% lift in revenue to €4.49 billion. Cargo revenue was up +0.3% to €389 million and passenger revenue rose +2.9% to €3.18 billion on a -2.7% decline in passengers carried to 14.9 million.

“The competitiveness of the UK economy and the aviation industry has been damaged by Air Passenger Duty with UK airlines facing the highest tax levels in the world. Unless the British Chancellor reverses this, even more passengers and businesses will avoid the UK and further undermine the economy,” (IAG) (CEO), Willie Walsh said.

Operating profit, after €12 million in exceptional items, came in at +€351 million, down -33.5% from +€528 million a year earlier. (IAG)’s third-quarter traffic heightened +3.4% to 47.02 billion (RPK)s on a +3.1% rise in capacity to 55.66 billion (ASK)s, producing a load factor of 84.5% LF, up +0.3 point. Passenger yield declined -0.4% to 8.11 euro cents. (CASK) increased +3.5% to 7.41 euro cents, comprising a +19.9% hike in fuel costs per (ASK) to 2.47 euro cents and a -2.9% reduction in other costs per (ASK) to 4.95 euro cents.

For the nine months ended September 30, (IAG) posted a net income of +€338 million, compared to +€10 million in the year-ago period. Revenue rose +11.6% to €12.26 billion and operating costs were up +10.3% to €11.88 billion after exceptional items of €68 million. Operating profit after exceptional items surged +74.9% to +€383 million.

Walsh said the company expects “to deliver a 2011 full-year operating profit of around double the year 2010 profits.” He added, “The main challenge for 2012 will be to offset increased fuel costs, as our hedges unwind, against a background of potentially weaker demand.”

(IAG) announced it had reached a tentative agreement with Lufthansa (DLH) to buy its loss-making UK subsidiary British Midland (bmi) (BMA). The purchase of bmi (BMA) could increase (IAG) subsidiary, British Airways (BAB)'s share of slots at London Heathrow (LHR) to 53%, although regulators most likely will require some slot divestments.

“The sale and closing of the deal remain subject to conditions, including a binding purchase agreement, further due diligence and regulatory clearances. It is envisaged that the purchase agreement will be signed in the coming weeks and the aim is for the transaction to be completed in the first quarter of 2012,” (IAG) and (DLH) announced.

The companies did not detail whether the agreement is for the sale of the entirety of bmi (BMA), or just (BMA)'s mainline operation. Recently, bmi (BMA) confirmed it was “in advanced discussion” to sell bmi regional to a UK-based investor group “previously associated with the regional business,” indicating its owner was negotiating to divest its loss-making UK subsidiary in parts. It is not clear what will happen with (BMA)’s low-cost carrier (LCC), bmibaby (BMI).

Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA), which was also interested in acquiring (BMA), said the deal is anti-competitive. “(BAB)'s hold over Heathrow is already too dominant and we are very concerned (as the competition authorities should also be) that (BAB)'s purchase of (bma) would be disastrous for consumer choice and competition,” (VAA) said. “With the government limiting growth at London Heathrow, they cannot afford to turn a blind eye to the deterioration of competition that would result.”

(BMA) reported a -€154 million/-$211.6 million operating loss for the first nine months of 2011, deepened from a -€90 million loss in the year-ago period, despite lower costs achieved by restructuring activities and the sale of six slots at (LHR). Those slots were either already leased to other airlines or could not be used profitably by (BMA). Revenue declined -5.5% year-over-year to €658 million and passengers carried fell -7.4% to 4.5 million.

(EADS) Sogerma won a contract from Iberia (IBE) to equip its wide body fleet with Solstys business-class (C) seats. The seats will be installed on (IBE)’s new A330 and on its current A340s. Deliveries of the seats will commence in late 2012 to support line fit activity on the new A330 fleet and the A340 retrofit program.

December 2011: Iberia (IBE) which already this year initiated flights to Rabat in Morocco, and Luanda in Angola, is now to start flights to Africa in 2012 to Equuatorial Guinea, Ghana, and Mauretania. Regarding its flights to Portugese speaking, Equatorial Guinea, (IBE) will fly to both the political capital Malabo and also the commercial capital, Bata.


January 2012: Iberia (IBE) has increased 4x-weekly Madrid - Panama City service to 5x-weekly.

(IBE) has also introduced new routes:
Madrid - Fuerteventura: 5x weekly A319-100/CRJ-100 service has resumed on October 29 (partially operated by Air Nostrum, route transferred back from Vueling Airlines (VUZ));
Madrid - Lanzarote: daily A320-200/CRJ-100 service has resumed on October 29 (partially operated by Air Nostrum, route transferred back from (VUZ));
Madrid - Manchester: daily CRJ-900/1000 service has started on October 30 (operated by Air Nostrum);
Madrid - Palma de Mallorca: up to 5x daily A319-100/CRJ-900/-1000 service has resumed on October 29 (partially operated by Air Nostrum, route transferred back from (VUZ);
Madrid - Split: weekly seasonal CRJ-1000 service between July 21 and September 1 (operated by Air Nostrum);
Palma de Mallorca - Lleida: 2x weekly CRJ-200 service (already launched).

Its franchise partner Air Nostrum had also operated seasonal services from Lleida to the Balearic islands for the first time last summer offering 2x-weekly seasonal CRJ-200 services from Lleida to Ibiza and Menorca between July and September. Iberia (IBE) is operating some of its Madrid - San Juan Luis Muñoz Marin International services via Santo Domingo Las Americas on the way back this winter based on demand. It has given up its Barcelona - Turin route on September 4 and its domestic services from Barcelona and Madrid to Badajoz and its triangular flights from Madrid to Fortaleza and Recife on November 2. (IBE) will also terminate its Madrid - Cordoba route on January 20 as well as its Madrid - Genoa and Madrid - Pisa on February 1 and will not resume seasonal services from San Sebastian to Brussels National and Rome Fiumicino next summer season. Air Nostrum will also terminate year-round services from Madrid to Naples on February 1 but will continue to offer the route as a seasonal service in July, August and September.

(IBE) is facing a new wave of strikes by its Flight Crew (FC) pilots represented by the (SEPLA) union, while ground workers and cabin attendants (CA) have also voted for industrial action, although for different reasons.

Pilots (FC) will strike January 25, January 27 and January 30 to protest company plans to create a lower-cost carrier (LCC), Iberia Express, for its loss-making medium-haul network. The new strikes follow four one-day walk-outs on December 18, December 29, January 9 and January 11.

The majority of unions representing (IBE)’s 16,000 ground workers approved industrial action to support their demands to extend the job guarantee clause in their current collective bargaining agreement to December 31, 2015. Ground workers plan to stop working every Friday and Monday from February 3 onward. They have not yet officially called for a strike, but union representatives said they will notify the Ministry of Transport.

(IBE) cabin attendants (CA) expect to vote on the issue January 20.

(IBE) management is reluctant to guarantee job security for all workers for a further three years because of the difficult economic outlook and high oil prices, the spokesperson said. “Management is not per se against the extension of the job guarantees but feels this should be linked to a renegotiation of all elements in the collective bargaining agreement, including salary, work practices and productivity.”

Regarding Iberia Express, plans are proceeding to have the new carrier fully operational at the start of the (IATA) summer schedule on March 25. Two-thirds of the 15 management positions are filled, the (IBE) spokesperson said, confirming the carrier will launch with four A320s and expand to 13 by year end. Route details and corporate image will be revealed over the next few weeks.

Later, Iberia (IBE) and unions representing its cabin attendants (CA) reached an accord, averting a strike to protest the possible impact on their jobs due to Iberia Express. The 4,000 (CA) had planned to walk out February 3, 6, 10 and 13.

However, (IBE)’s Flight Crew (FC) pilots are still moving ahead with their industrial action.

(IBE) said management reached an agreement with the (SITCPLA), (CTA), (UGT) and (CCOO) unions representing (IBE)'s (CA) on a two-year extension of employment guarantees and the transformation of some temporary contract into permanent ones. Under the agreement, (IBE) will extend its employment guarantees through December 31, 2014, and pledges to extend them for an additional year on the condition that a new collective bargaining agreement will be signed before the end of 2014. The employment guarantees apply to permanent cabin staff (CA) and to 108 temporary staff who will be made permanent in 2012. Other temporary (CA) will get permanent contracts between March 2013 and March 2014. (IBE) union representatives will submit the agreement to the workers' assemblies for ratification this week.

A similar agreement was concluded last week with two of the unions representing (IBE)’s 16,000 ground staff Maintenance Technicians (MT), who threatened to strike two days a week from February 3.

February 2012: Iberia (IB) is facing a further five days of industrial action this month by ground staff (MT), cabin crew (CA) and pilots (FC) to protest the possible impact on their jobs from plans to create low-cost carrier Iberia Express.

The strikes, planned for February 13, 17, 20, 24 and 29, are being organized by minor unions representing cabin crew and ground staff which did not sign an agreement offered by management that provided employment guarantees through 2015. The (SEPLA) unions representing (IBE)’s pilots (FC) joined the protest action.

The 4,000 cabin crew (CA) members had planned to walk out February 3, 6, 10 and 13.

A similar agreement was reached with two of the unions representing (IBE)’s 16,000 ground staff, who threatened to strike Mondays and Fridays from February 3.

(IBE) reached agreements with unions representing 93% of employees. “An overwhelming majority of staff, therefore, support the company in its project to create Iberia Express in order to adapt and to survive in a new competitive environment, a minority persists in ignoring the state of the economy and of the airline industry in Spain.”

Last month Spanair (SPP) stopped operations and Air Europa (ARE) is planning to reduce capacity and staff by -10% due to falling demand.

(IBE) said Iberia Express will start operating as scheduled and this is “obviously not a negotiable matter, since it is crucial to (IBE)’s viability.” Iberia Express will create +500 new positions in its first year and recruitment of staff is ongoing.

March 2012: The European Commission (EC) has given the go-ahead for British Airways (BAB) owner, the International Airlines Group (IAG) to acquire British Midland International (bmi) (BMA), saying any competition concerns were addressed by conditions that were proposed as part of the deal.

The decision, announced this month, requires (IAG) to give up 14 daily slot pairs at London Heathrow and to commit to carry connecting passengers to feed long-haul flights of competing airlines out of Heathrow. “In light of these commitments, the (EC) concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns.”

In its proposal to regulators, the (IAG) offered to release 12 daily slot pairs at Heathrow, which could be used on the specific routes of concern, including the UK domestic routes, as well as on other European routes. In addition, it proposed leasing two Heathrow daily slot pairs to Transaero Airlines (TRX) for use on flights to Moscow. The (IAG) also said it would form special agreements with competing airlines that operate long-haul flights out of Heathrow to provide those airlines with connecting passengers.

"The commitments package includes an appropriate number of very sought-after slots at London Heathrow as well as far-reaching feeder arrangements as regards connecting passengers. We are therefore satisfied that the competitive dynamics will be maintained so as to ensure choice and quality of air services for passengers," (EC) VP Competition, Joaquín Almunia said.

(IAG) (CEO), Willie Walsh said the company would move “as fast as possible” to integrate (BMA) into (BAB) and that (BMA)’s fleet would be repainted in (BAB) colors.

The (IAG) reached a deal worth €207 million/$271 million in December 2011 to buy loss-making (UK) carrier (BMA) from the Lufthansa (DLH) Group.

Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA), which also tried to buy (BMA), had asked antitrust officials to block the deal, arguing it would harm competition.

Iberia (IBE) is facing a further 24 days of industrial action by its pilots (FC) represented by the Spanish airline pilots union (SEPLA) to protest the launch of Iberia Express, the carrier’s new subsidiary for short- and medium-haul flights.

“The pilots (FC) have decided to increase the number of strike days due to the company’s refusal to negotiate,” (SEPLA) said in a statement.

Iberia Express, which is scheduled to launch March 25 with four A320s, is part of (IBE)’s efforts to bring the company back to profitability.

The new strike dates are in March, April and May and include some of the country’s major holiday breaks such as Easter.

(IBE) pilots (FC) have already staged 12 days of strikes since December. Last week, (IBE) parent company, International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) said each strike day costs the airline -€3 million/-$3.96 million.

One of the unions representing cabin crew (CA), (STAVLA), said it would join the pilots (FC) in their industrial action.

(IBE) said it considers the strike call by (SEPLA) “an intolerable challenge to the company and to Spanish society at large,” which threatened “Spain's reputation for credibility and solvency.” It said it intends to take “all lawful measures to oppose this inappropriate and unjustified action, as well as the unlawful behavior of some pilots (FC)” and asked pilots (FC) “and particularly those who do not support the union's suicidal position, to abort this strike and return to the table to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement.”

(IBE) will ask the government to implement the decree on minimum services during the next strike days, as it did with past strikes.

Later, Iberia (IBE) pilots (FC), represented by the (SEPLA) union, and cabin crew (CA), represented by the (STAVLA) union, have called off their planned strikes, (IBE) said.

The cancellation follows mediation by the Spanish government, according to the news agency "(EFE)," citing a statement from the Public Works Ministry. It added that the government also agreed to appoint a mediator to help the negotiation process between the airline and the unions.

“The airline hopes that (SEPLA) will resume negotiations of the new collective bargaining agreement in good faith and with the attention to reach an agreement at a time when it’s necessary to reduce costs to be competitive. The company is happy that its longstanding proposal that an independent arbiter be named to preside over the contract negotiations has now been accepted,” (IBE) said.

(IBE) pilots (FC) earlier this month announced a further 24 days of industrial action between March 16 and May 28 to protest the launch of Iberia Express, the carrier’s new subsidiary for short- and medium-haul flights.

(IBE) pilots (FC) have already staged 12 days of strikes since December. Each strike day cost the airline -€3 million/-$3.96 million, (IBE) parent company, International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) said.

Iberia Express is scheduled to commence flights March 25 with four A320s operating from Madrid (MAD) to four destinations in Spain, despite opposition from (IBE) mainline pilots (FC) and unions representing cabin crew (CA).

The problem with the pilots (FC) is not solved, (IBE) (CEO), Rafael Sanchez-Lozano confirmed. He declined to comment further, noting the negotiations are under government mediation.

(IBE) Express's first routes are from Madrid (MAD) to Palma de Majorca, Alicante, Malaga, and Seville. The network will gradually expand to 17 destinations this summer. The first international gateways are slated to be Dublin, Naples, Mikonos, Riga, and Amsterdam. Other domestic destinations will include Vigo, Santiago de Compostela, Granada, Minorca, Ibiza, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, and La Palma.

By year end, (IBE) Express will operate 14 airplanes, all leased from (IBE) to over >20 destinations. The new airline is a 100%-subsidiary of (IBE) but managed independently. It will utilize (IBE)'s maintenance and other services.

"It has not been an easy project, but today is a day of birth and this has to be celebrated," Sanchez-Lozano told a press conference in Madrid, stressing that (IBE) Express "will be a success story that adds value to the Iberia Group. It will restore profitability to short- and medium-haul routes, add new destinations and connections, and feed traffic to the long-haul network, where (IBE) is focusing its growth strategy."

Later, (IBE) pilots (FC), represented by the Sepla union, announced they intend to strike for 30 days to protest (IBE)’s new low-cost airline, Iberia Express. Pilots (FC) will walk out every Monday and Friday between April 9 and July 20, Sepla said.

The pilot union has already held 12 days of strikes since December and called off a further 24 days of planned industrial action after agreeing to talks organized by a government-approved mediator. But negotiations broke down, the same day as the Iberia Express first flight.

(IBE) said it “condemns the irresponsible and uncompromising position of the Sepla pilots union” and will ask the union to continue the negotiations in a bid to avert a strike, “which by any reckoning is unjustified, damaging and disproportionate.”

Sepla refused the mediator’s proposals (which included (IBE)’s co-pilots (FC) taking unpaid leave of absence to work as captains for Iberia Express with the possibility of returning to the parent airline and other employment guarantees, (IBE) said, stressing it was “prepared to accept” all these proposals.

April 2012: Iberia (IBE) will move 8X-daily, London Heathrow - Madrid service from Terminal 5 to Terminal 3.

The Iberia (IBE) pilots (FC) union Sepla said jobs will be lost when (IBE) airplanes are transferred to Iberia Express (IB2). In March, Sepla said pilots (FC) would walk out every Monday and Friday between April 9 and July 20.

(IBE), which is owned by British Airways (BAB)’s parent, the International Airlines Group, launched (IB2) as a standalone airline with newly hired crew and no legacy working practices or expensive seniority structures. (IB2) began operations March 25 from its base at Madrid Barajas airport with four A320s flying domestic routes to Palma de Majorca, Alicante, Malaga, and Seville.

(IBE) is seeking court intervention to prevent future strikes and get compensation for past action. According to "Reuters," (IBE) estimates the April strikes will cost (IBE) -€3 million/-$3.9 million per day.

The Spanish government finally intervened to help resolve the increasingly bitter dispute between (IBE) and its pilots (FC), imposing a compulsory arbitration order on both parties. The government intervention means that strike action by members of the (SEPLA) Pilots union was immediately suspended.

Earlier, (SEPLA), which represents 1,400 (IBE) pilots (FC), claimed the conflict between the two parties over the creation of the Iberia Express) low-cost carrier (LCC) subsidiary was “irresolvable,” and called on the government to enforce arbitration.

Since December 2011, the pilots (FC) have staged 12 days of strike action, with additional action planned for every Monday and Friday until July 20. The pilots (FC) are protesting the launch of Iberia Express, which they see as a threat to jobs and working conditions.

Spain’s tourism sector weighed in on the debate, alarmed by the negative effects of the ongoing strike, and urged “forceful” government intervention. The President of the Spanish Confederation of Tourist Hotels & Accommodation (CEHAT), Juan Molas asked the government to reform labor laws relating to strike activity in the tourism sector, declaring it “an essential service” at a critical time for Spanish economic stability. He said the tourism sector could not be hostage to the threat of pilot (FC) strikes every Monday and Friday, and asked the government to intervene accordingly.

VP, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said after the Council of Ministers that the government action is permitted by Spanish law and constitutional jurisprudence and is intended to end a strike that is costing significant revenue and adversely impacting customers.

(IBE) moved swiftly to reinstate flights cancelled on future planned strike days and said it was pleased the (SEPLA) pilots union had called off the strike. So far, the 12 strike days are estimated to have cost the airline some €36 million/$47.7 million.

Iberia (IBE) is testing a new refueling system for its ground vehicle at Madrid-Barajas Airport T4 in a bid to cut fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The telemetry system for refueling fuel trucks uses wireless links installed in the trucks to facilitate radio communication with chips installed on each piece of ground equipment. A reader on each vehicle monitors engine running time and distance travelled to give a real-time basis for computing fuel consumption and needs.

The system is being installed in the four trucks used to refuel almost 1,000 (IBE) handling service vehicles at the airport. It is expected to reduce fuel consumption by -5% and reduce CO2 emissions by -520 tonnes a year, the equivalent of planting 2,600 trees, according to (IBE).

Iberia Express is planning to add Berlin Brandenburg International (BER) and Frankfurt International (FRA) airports to its network later this year offering its first connections to Germany according to a report by the "Financial Times Deutschland."

A320-211 (0173, EC-FDB), returned from Vueling (VUZ) now added titles "Iberia Express."

May 2012: The International Airlines Group (IAG), parent company of British Airways (BAB) and Iberia (IBE), reported a pre-tax loss of -€263 million/-$340.5 million, worsened from a -€47 million loss in the year-ago period, despite revenue rising +7.8% to €3.9 billion. Passenger unit revenue for the period was up +8.5%, on top of capacity increases of +0.6%.

Fuel costs for the quarter rose +24.9% year-over-year to €1.4 billion.

(IAG) (CEO), Willie Walsh said fuel was the main factor for the quarter's loss, although the strike by (IBE) pilots (FC) protesting at the introduction of low-cost carrier (LCC) operation Iberia Express cost -€25 million.

He said (BAB) continues to benefit from strong demand through London, particularly in premium cabins and across the North Atlantic. (IBE), by contrast, affected by euro zone woes, was experiencing weakening demand at its Madrid hub.

Walsh said the (IAG)’s financial performance “continues to be undermined by government actions. In addition to the UK government increasing the world's highest aviation tax (Air Passenger Duty) by double the inflation rate, the Spanish government plans to increase departure taxes from Spain by up to +10 euros per passenger.”

He expects operating results for the full year to be “around the breakeven level.”

In April, the (IAG) completed the purchase of bmi (BMA) but Walsh said "bmibaby (BMI) is not part of our plans and consultation has started with trade unions on proposals to review future options for the business.”

However, the (IAG) was successful in selling British Midland International’s bmi regional to a group of Scottish investors for £8 million/$12.9 million. (IAG), which finalized the purchase of bmi regional's parent company bmi last month, had said the regional operator did not figure in its plans.

Bmi regional, which operates 14 Embraer ERJ-145s and four ERJ-135s, is based in the northeast Scottish city of Aberdeen and operates to destinations in the UK and northern Europe. A primary investor behind the purchase, Ian Woodley, set up a small carrier, Business Air, in the 1980s, which was eventually bought by bmi and became the core of bmi regional.

He has been joined by several other investors, including former Business Air executive Graham Ross and members of the Bond family that previously owned North Sea oil helicopter operator Bond Helicopters and are investors in Scottish regional carrier Loganair.
"In essence, [bmi regional] is the guts of the same company that Ian and Graham founded," a bmi regional spokesman said. The deal will preserve bmi regional's 330 jobs. The spokesman added that, following a period of consolidation, the company plans to develop its network both within the UK and in northern Europe.

It will keep its brand name and, for now, the existing color scheme: "There's obviously some value in the brand," the spokesman said.

Iberia (IBE) has been forced to cancel 108 flights as a result of strike action by cabin staff, local media reported. The 108 cancelled flights represent around a third of the 326 flights the airline had programmed for May 4th with 53 of the flights that remain on the ground internal flights, 49 medium haul and six long haul flights.

The strike is organized by the cabin crew union Stavla and is against Iberia (IBE)’s decision to open up a low cost carrier (LCC) subsidiary, Iberia Express, which offers significantly lower rates of pay than Iberia (IBE). Stavla believes that the creation of Iberia Express threatens the conditions of its members currently with (IBE).

Iberia Express began operations on the last weekend of March this year. This month, Iberia Express started flying from Madrid Barajas Airport to Mahon and Ibiza.

Iberia (IBE) will add a fourth weekly flight on Madrid - Lago service July 6.

This strike, although for similar motives as the recent series of strikes by (IBE) pilots’ union (SEPLA), is not directly connected to the pilots (FC)’s action.

The pilots (FC) were forced to call off their planned series of strikes, which were due to be held every Monday and Friday until July 20, following government intervention which legally forced them to accept arbitration in their dispute with (IBE).

Stavla has called separate strikes for May 11 and 14 as they consider that Iberia Express supposes a loss of production and as a result, a loss of jobs in the company.

July 2012: Iberia (IB) is adding frequency to the Canary Islands for the summer season, increasing capacity to Gran Canaria by 32% and Tenerife by 19%. The additional frequencies will bring (IBE)’s total number of flights operated between Spain and the largest Canary Island cities to nearly 100 a week.

On July 12, (IBE) will launch a 2x-weekly service between Gran Canaria and Nouakchott, the capital of Mauritania. The airline said the route had been launched in response to growing demand, especially from the fishing trade.

(IBE) is also increasing capacity to Dubrovnik, Croatia by 52% for the summer, as well as adding extra flights to Zagreb and Split, a new destination served by (IBE) Regional/Air Nostrum. In addition to the Nouakchott route, (IBE) will add a second destination in Africa (Accra, Ghana) to its route network on July 17.

For the peak summer season, (IBE) is also increasing the number of flights to Miami each week from seven to 11, and the number of flights to Panama City from four to five per week. It will also operate additional flights to New York in August.

On 13 July, Iberia (ibe) commenced twice-weekly stopping services on the new route from Madrid (MAD) to Nouakchott (NKC). Flights to the capital of Mauretania in West Africa are operated using A321 equipment via Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The new service is geared at the growing trade exchange between Spain and Mauretania, in particular within the fishing industry. On July 18, (IBE) also launched 2x-weekly services from Madrid to Accra (ACC) in Ghana. The new route is operated with 122-seat A319 airplanes on Wednesdays and Saturdays, becoming the only non-stop service between the two countries. In addition, on 14 July, the airline launched services on the 350 km route from Palma de Mallorca (PMI) in the Balearic Islands, to Perpignan (PGF) in the south-western corner of France’s Mediterranean coast. The weekly seasonal service will be operated until early September with Air Nostrum’s fleet of CRJ200s.

August 2012: Sharply increased half-year losses at the International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) have led (CEO), Willie Walsh to warn of imminent major restructuring at subsidiary Iberia (IBE) to correct “deep and structural” problems. Redundancies were inevitable, he said.

(IAG), which comprises (IBE) and British Airways (BAB), slumped to an operating loss of -€253 million/-$312 million before exceptional items for the six-month period ending June 30, compared to a profit of +€88 million for the same period last year.

After-tax figures showed a loss of -€231 million compared to a profit of +€71 million year-over-year. Revenue increased +9.8% to €8.53 billion. Fuel costs were up +25%.

(BAB) reported a half-year operating profit, after exceptional items, of +€13 million; (IBE) posted an operating loss of -€263 million.
“There remains a stark difference in the performance of our subsidiaries,” Walsh said.

“Iberia (IBE)’s problems are deep and structural and the economic environment reinforces the need for permanent structural change. We are currently working on a restructuring plan for (IBE) which we anticipate will be finalized by the end of September,” Walsh said, adding it is likely to include “short-term downsizing, network reshaping to deliver higher unit revenues and a re-evaluation of all aspects of the business to deliver competitive costs and service to enable long-term profitable growth.”

(IBE) is ahead of yet another restructuring plan with parent International Airlines Group (IAG) planning to work out the details of the proposed plan by the end of September. It is expect that the plan will mainly include capacity cuts and job losses given the slow demand in Spain following the economic downturn in the country.

(IBE)’s new low-cost carrier (LCC) subsidiary, Iberia Express, has been profitable in its third full month of operation in June and has established an “exemplary operating performance from Madrid Barajas,” Walsh said.

Integration of British Midlands International (BMA) into (BAB) accounted for most of the +€38 million of exceptional items. Completion is due by year end, (IAG) said.

For the second quarter, (IAG) posted an operating loss of -€4 million, before exceptional items, compared to an operating profit +€190 million in the year-ago quarter.

(IAG) was targeting a breakeven operating result for this year; however, with the Spanish economy in the doldrums, it now expected to report a small operating loss.

Iberia (IBE) Cargo has been selected by (TAM) Linhas Aereas (TPR) to serve as its new freight handling agent in Spain.

September 2012: Iberia (IBE) returned on the domestic route connecting two major cities on the Mediterranean coast. Beginning on September 3, flights from Barcelona (BCN) to Valencia (VLC) are offered with 11x-weekly frequencies. All services on the 300 km route will be operated by the regional airline Air Nostrum on Iberia (IBE)’s behalf, using 50-seat CRJ200s. (IBE) dropped the route from its network in October last year, but now resumes services as the previous competitor on the route, Spanair (SPP), ceased operating.

(IBE) began operating services on the 2,800 km route from Tenerife Norte (TFN) to Paris Orly (ORY) on October 28. Weekly flights are now offered by (IBE), which already serves the Paris airport from Tenerife South, the island’s larger airport, also with weekly operations. Notably, competition in the market from Paris to Tenerife is limited with only Ryanair (RYR) offering weekly flights from Paris Beauvais to Tenerife South.

American Airlines (AAL) and Iberia Express ((IATA) Code: I2) have USA Department of Transportation (DOT) approval for a code share. (AAL) will place its code on Iberia Express service between Madrid and 14 destinations in Europe beginning September 10.

Iberia Express is now offering 22 destinations, all from Madrid.

November 2012: The International Airlines Group (IAG), parent company of British Airways (BAB) and Iberia (IBE), reported a third-quarter operating profit of +€270 million/+$344 million, down -25.6% from an operating profit of +€363 million, before exceptional items, (+€301 million excluding British Midland International (BMA)) in the year-ago period.

Third-quarter revenue was up +12.6% year-over-year, buoyed by a +14.1% growth in passenger revenue. Operating costs increased +16%, as fuel costs jumped +20.9%.

Third-quarter (ASK)s increased +4.7% to 58.2 billion from 55.6 billion in the year-ago period, and (RPK)s were up +4.9% to 49.3 billion. Passenger numbers were up +8.3% year-over-year and passenger load factor was 84.7% LF, up two points from the year-ago quarter.

(IAG) (CEO), Willie Walsh said the group performance is “coming back to the levels seen in 2011 and this is particularly true if you strip out the (BMA) losses of -€31 million in the quarter. However, there remains a strong difference between the performances of (BAB) and (IBE).”

For the first nine months, (IAG)’s operating profit plunged -96% from +€451 million in the year-ago period to +€17 million. (BAB)’s operating profit of +€286 million was all but negated by (IBE)’s operating loss of -€262 million.

(IAG) said the revenue trend in third quarter was restrained by the London Olympics, but was showing signs of recovery for the fourth quarter. Nevertheless, the negative impact of Hurricane "Sandy" and continued weakness in (IBE) mean the group is expecting to make an operating loss of around -€120 million for the full year, after (BMA) trading losses and exceptional items. This expectation does not take into account the (IBE) restructuring plans.

The (IAG) is considering the purchase of Spanish low-cost carrier (LCC) Vueling (VY). The (IAG) said that its board would consider an offer for 100% of (VUZ)'s shares. “No decision to make an offer has yet been reached nor, accordingly, on any of its potential terms, including in particular the price. “Iberia L A E Operadora, S A already has a 45.85% shareholding in Vueling (VUZ).” (VUZ) is Spain’s second-largest airline and has been expanding rapidly in recent years, particularly at its Barcelona base.

The (IAG) has announced -4,500 job cuts at Iberia (IBE) as part of a widely anticipated restructuring of (IBE). (IBE) is cutting its fleet by 25 airplanes, and reducing -15% of its network capacity, with (IBE) focusing on its most profitable routes.

The plan aims to stem (IBE)'s cash losses by mid-2013, and raise profits by at least +EUR600 million/+S$766 million/479 million pounds.
(IAG) also revealed a -30% drop in pre-tax quarterly profits to +EUR221 million. The drop was due to the poor performance at (IBE) and at the recently-purchased UK regional airline bmi (BMA), as well as rising fuel, operating and engineering costs.

"The (IAG) group performance is coming back to the levels seen in 2011 and this is particularly true if you strip out the (BMA) losses of -EUR31 million in the quarter," said (IAG) (CEO) Willie Walsh.
"However, there remains a strong difference between the performances of British Airways (BAB) and Iberia (IBE)."

(IAG) said it now expected to make an overall operating loss of -EUR120 million for the year (excluding any costs associated with the (IBE) restructuring) with further losses likely in the remaining three months due to the impact of storm "Sandy" in the USA Northeast. Its pre-tax losses for the first nine months of the year have now reached -EUR169 million, compared with a +EUR355 million profit in the same period last year.

Iberia (IBE) has been suffering record losses, and (IAG) flagged up three months ago that job cuts were likely to come. "(IBE) is in a fight for survival," said the Spanish subsidiary's (CEO), Rafael Sanchez-Lozano. "It is unprofitable in all its markets. "Unless we take radical action to introduce permanent structural change, the future for (IBE) is bleak."

The -4,500 job losses are not as steep as the -7,000 figure that reportedly had been expected by (IBE)'s unions. (IAG) said the restructuring would safeguard 15,500 posts at (IAG). However, the restructuring plan also includes "permanent salary adjustments to achieve a competitive and flexible cost base". (IBE)
has set a deadline of January 31 next year to reach agreement with unions over the cuts. "Time is not on our side," said Mr Sanchez-Lozano, claiming that: "The company is burning -EUR1.7 million every day. "If we do not reach consensus, we will have to take more radical action, which will lead to greater reductions in capacity and jobs."

The restructuring plan comes a day after (IAG) announced that it would pay EUR113 million to buy up the remaining 54% stake in Spanish budget airline, Vueling (VUZ) that it did not already own. Mr Walsh had said that the acquisition of (VUZ) would be "good for Spain" and "create new Spanish jobs."

Iberia Express and Vueling Airlines (VUZ) will not be merged if the International Airlines Group (IAG) is able to successfully increase its stake in Vueling (VUZ) to 100% through its takeover offer it has recently launched. (IAG) has denied such reports saying both carriers operate different business models and would continue to do so separately. Management says Iberia (IBE) pilots (FC) earn an average of about 200,000 euros/year, double the approximately 100,000 euros/year earned by Vueling (VUZ) pilots (FC).

(IAG) released its latest passenger figures for October, which showed that traffic rose by +6.2% at British Airways (BAB) from a year earlier, while at Iberia (IBE), traffic was down -3.7%. (IBE)'s woes in part stem from the weakness of the eurozone economy, including a sharp downturn in its Spanish home market. However, according to Mr Sanchez-Lozano, (IBE)'s problems are also "systemic and pre-date the country's problems".

Iberia (IBE) is widely expected by Spanish media outlets to cancel its routes from Madrid Barajas (MAD) to Havana José Marti International (HAV), San Juan Luis Muñoz Marin International (SJU) and Santo Domingo Las Américas (SDQ) from its network as part of its restructuring plan. It is reportedly also currently evaluating whether to cancel its routes to Guatemala City La Aurora International (GUA), Guayaquil José Joaquín de Olmdeo International (GYE), Panamá City Tocumen International (PTY) and San Salvador Cuscatlán International (SAL) airports.

Later in the month, Unions representing almost 90% of employees at Iberia (IBE) announced a series of 24-hour strikes in the run-up to Christmas. The unions ((UGT), (CCOO), (USO), (SICTPLA) and (ASETMA)) said the strikes would take place between December 14 and December 21. In a joint statement, they said the industrial action was to protest restructuring plans for the airline, announced earlier this month by the International Airlines Group (IAG) that owns both (IBE) and British Airways (BAB). The restructuring plans include up to -4,500 job losses, as well as pay and capacity cuts.

The unions said there was a “real risk” that the plans were tantamount to dismantling the airline and they would not be “complicit in a plan that would destroy (IBE).” They therefore refused to negotiate and instead called on management “to reconsider their position and offer a growth plan which may include measures of sacrifice,” but would also lead to recovery of the airline through investment and consolidation, “with a commitment to sustainability.”

(IBE) has yet to respond officially to the union announcement, but last week chastised the pilots (FC)’s union, (SEPLA), for failing to attend a meeting at which (IBE) detailed its initial negotiating position to other union representatives. (IBE) dismissed (SEPLA)'s motives for not attending the meeting as "unfounded," and sent its proposals to the union by mail. (SEPLA) is in arbitration with the airline over strikes held earlier this year and is therefore prevented from joining the strikes.

Earlier this month, (IAG) reported disappointing results for the first nine months of the year, partly attributable to the poor performance of (IBE). (IAG) pointed out that the level of operating profit (+€286 million) achieved by (BAB) during the period, was all but wiped out by an almost equivalent operating loss (-€262 million) reported by (IBE).

(IBE) has set a deadline of January 31 to reach agreement with the unions, but warned of “deeper cuts and a more radical reduction in the size and scale of (IBE)'s operations” if agreement could not be reached by then. Union spokesmen have ruled out any further action in December, beyond the schedule already announced.

Spanish airport operator (AENA) has won union agreement to cut its 15,000-strong workforce by just over >-10%, with 1,600 voluntary layoffs before the end of the year. It said it would fund the redundancies from its own resources without the need to resort to additional state aid.

The company said the layoffs were part of an Airport Efficiency Plan aimed at ensuring the future of the debt-ridden public body. It said it has debt worth nearly €14 billion/$18.1 billion. The plan includes improving the efficiency of the airport network, a significant reduction in operating costs, rationalizing airport operating schedules more closely to actual demand, and optimizing profitability.

(AENA) manages 47 airports and 2 heliports in Spain, and participates directly and indirectly in the management of 26 more airports around the world. At more than >25%, Spain has the highest unemployment rate in the European Union (EU), with the figure reaching as high as one in three in some parts of the country.

Iberia (IBE) Maintenance has signed a five-year contract with (GMF) AeroAsia to exclusively service and maintain components for Garuda Indonesia (GIA)’s new fleet of Bombardier CRJ1000 regional jets.

The contract covers inspection, repair, testing and certification of repaired and replaced components, and gives (GIA) access to Iberia (IBE)'s pool of spares. In addition, a Main Base Kit of CRJ1000 components will be positioned at (GMF)’s headquarters at Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta airport. The components include generators, flight recorders, ovens, fuel pumps, temperature and braking sensors, interphone control panels, emergency lights, battery chargers, digital clocks and windscreen wipers.

Maintenance will be carried out at Iberia (IBE) Maintenance’s Madrid-Barajas installation.

(IBE) signed a three-year contract with Rwandair (RWA) to maintain components on two of (RWA)’s new Bombardier CRJ900s, including access to the (IBE) pool of spare parts and the placement of a main base kit at (RWA)’s Kigali hub. Maintenance will take place in Madrid.

(GIA), which is the launch customer for the CRJ1000 in the Asia-Pacific region, took delivery of the first of six airplanes on order on 10 October. (GIA) also plans to operate 12 additional airplanes through a third-party lease agreement, and holds options on a further 18.

Iberia (IBE) won a five-year contract from TAROM (TRM) for full components support on (TRM)’s A318 airplanes. The contract includes repair as well as pool access for the components; maintenance will be carried out at Iberia (IBE) Maintenance’s Madrid facilities.

December 2012: The International Airlines Group (IAG) subsidiary, Veloz Holdco has initiated the process to purchase Vueling Airlines (VUZ). It has applied to Spain’s National Securities Market Commission for authorization to launch a tender offer for the remaining shares of the Barcelona-based, low-cost carrier (LCC).

The (IAG) currently has no direct shareholding in (VUZ), but its subsidiary, Iberia (IBE) holds 45.85% of (VUZ). The (IAG)’s tender offer would purchase the remaining 54.15% of (VUZ) stock, giving the group 100% ownership of the airline. (IBE) will retain its current shareholding.

The (IAG) announced its intention to launch a voluntary cash tender offer last month and created Veloz Holdco for this transaction. The offer will be launched exclusively on the Spanish stock markets and the cost of acquiring the 54.15% stake is anticipated to be €113 million/$146.5 million. The (IAG) said the acquisition would be funded using internal resources.

Subject to authorization from the Securities Market Commission, the offer will be launched in the 2013 first quarter and is expected to be completed in the second quarter. It is not subject to regulatory approval by the European Commission (EC).

Iberia (IBE) said it is prepared to discuss the terms of its controversial "Transformation Plan" after returning to the negotiating table with its unions. The unions representing ground staff and cabin crews, comprising 93% of staff, agreed to negotiate terms for a five-year period, through 2017. (IBE) stands by its plans to cut -4,500 jobs, but hopes that about two-thirds of those redundancies would be achieved through early retirement. (IBE) is ready to negotiate formulas such as payoff for voluntary resignations, and transfers of employees to different positions and/or different locations.

(IBE) has also pledged to retain the maintenance and handling division within the Group, provided they remain profitable enough to grow or win new handling contracts.

The two sides returned to the bargaining table after the unions threatened several days of industrial action over the Christmas holidays, but subsequently canceled the planned strikes in favor of arbitration. The Transformation Plan is aimed at restoring profitability and ensuring (IBE)’s future. (IBE) believes the agreement, brokered by the (SIMA) arbitration service, “benefits the company, its employees and its customers.”

(IBE) will this week call on the (SEPLA) pilots (FC) union to join the agreement and negotiate with other unions. (IBE) said it also wants “to hear details of (SEPLA)’s proposal whereby the pilots (FC) would accept pay cuts of -51%, as mooted by the union’s attorney in a radio interview.”

January 2013: Iberia (IBE) will increase daily, Madrid - Santiago service to 9X-weekly until February 25.

Only a year or so after the merger of Iberia (IBE) and British Airways (BAB), the International Airlines Group (IAG) is already in crisis mode. This time, all attention is on Iberia (IBE), which has to implement a draconian cost-savings and capacity-reduction program. This will see (IBE) withdraw from essentially all European routes that are not needed as feeders for its long-haul network to Latin America. (IBE) is also axing -20% of its workforce, and the (IAG) says still more drastic plans are in the cupboard if agreements cannot be reached quickly with unions. As the examples of (SAS) Scandinavian Airlines and others show, unions have few options to oppose such restructuring moves in tough times.

Iberia (IBE) pilots (FC) have entered discussions with the company over radical cost-cutting and productivity proposals. The pilots (FC) are the last employee group to negotiate with (IBE) to rescue it from its dire financial state.

Parent company, the International Airlines Group (IAG) reported in November that (IBE) made a -€262 million/-$342 million operating loss for the first nine months of the year and (IBE) was still losing around -€1 million a day, (IBE) spokesman, Santiago de Juan said.

The (IAG) has announced a major restructuring plan involving some -4,500 job losses, more than 20% of the workforce. Of that total, 537 of Iberia’s 1,440 pilots (FC) face layoffs. The company hopes many job losses can be achieved through early retirements. However, it has warned of more radical cuts if an agreement is not reached with employees by January 31.

(IBE) hopes to reduce the cost of its workforce by -25% to -30% by 2015, to bring it into line with its competitors’ costs, de Juan said. This would be achieved through a combination of salary cuts and freezes, plus increases in productivity.

(IBE)’s long-haul pilots (FC) earned around +20% more than Latin American rivals such as (LAN) Airlines, he said, with the latter’s pilots (FC) also generating some +23% more annual flying hours. On short-haul routes, the pay difference is even greater when compared to Spanish low-cost carrier (LCC) Vueling (VUZ). (IBE) short-haul pilots (FC) made around €194,000 on average, compared to “around €100,000” at Vueling (VUZ), he noted. “This transformation plan has to go ahead if the company is to survive,” he concluded.

(IBE) this year will take five new A330-300s, one more than initially scheduled for 2013, as it seeks to achieve targets set by parent, the International Airlines Group (IAG) to reduce operating costs and improve revenues. Under the plan, a further three A330s will be delivered in 2014.

The (IAG) in July 2011 firmed the order for eight General Electric (CF6-80E1)-powered A330-300s. The deal also included eight options.
The A330s will replace part of (IBE)’s fleet of A340-300/600s. “The A330-300s have a -15% lower fuel compared to the A340-300s. The A340-300s were a great airplane when we purchased them, but the high kerosene prices have made it very expensive to operate them,” said Jaime Garcia Blazquez, Manager Corporate Responsibility & Environment. He addeds that the objective to further reduce carbon emissions also played a role in expediting the replacement process.

Aviation has been included in the European Union (EU)’s Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) since January 1, 2012 and a “Stop the Clock” procedure proposed by the European Commission (EC) in November has excluded extra-European flights from the scheme, until after the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) General Assembly in the fall.

The (EU) may reinstate the full scope of the aviation (ETS) if (ICAO) does not establish a global market based mechanism.

Next month, Iberia (IBE) will get its first A330-300, a twin-engine plane that will happily replace four-engined A340s, which are uneconomical at current fuel prices. So where’s it going to put these new A330-300s? The answer is the USA, namely the Miami, New York, Boston and Chicago runs from Madrid, although its other USA destination Los Angeles will still see the longer range A340s. (IBE) will continue to serve San Juan in Puerto Rico too, but no longer nonstop from Spain but via Miami instead.

The A330-300s will feature (IBE)’s new business (C)- and economy (Y)-class design. (IBE) has decided against fitting the new wide bodies with an intermediate cabin “because we believe we can accommodate the needs of our market with a business cabin with seats that unfold into completely horizontal beds and 2.2 m/7.2 ft of space between rows and a good economy (Y) class with personal in-flight entertainment,” Garcia Blazquez said. “We do not have large premium market as in London.”

(IBE)’s A340-600s also will be fitted with the new cabins.

(IBE)’s reorganization targets a turnaround in profitability of at least +€600 million/+$790 million from 2012 levels to align it with the (IAG)’s goal of attaining a 12% return on capital by 2015.

Negotiations between Iberia (IBE) and its trade unions over the future restructuring of the airline have broken down. "Bloomberg" cited (UGT) union representative, Manuel Atienza as saying the unions now intend to press ahead with strike action in February. (UGT) represents 39% of (IBE)’s ground staff (MT) and 14% of cabin crew (CA).

(IBE) said it presented a new set of proposals that lessened the impact of cuts to the workforce and their salaries this month. However, an (IBE) spokesman said the revised proposals had not found favor with union representatives, who had walked out.

(IBE) had previously warned that if its proposals were not accepted by the January 31 deadline, it would impose deeper, more radical cuts than had originally been proposed.

The revised (IBE) proposal presented this month offered concessions over the initial proposals last November. It called for 3,147 redundancies, down some -30% on the initially mooted 4,500; pay cuts of -11% for ground staff (MT) and -23% for cabin crews (CA) and pilots (FC), against the initial proposal of between -25% and -35%, respectively. It also called for a -10% capacity cut for 2013, versus the initial proposal of -15%, and future capacity growth pegged to business results.

(IBE) has been heavily loss-making in recent years, with its deficits largely cancelling out profits made by British Airways (BAB), its partner in the International Airlines Group (IAG).

Iberia (IBE)’s trade unions have rejected (IBE)’s final offer and have warned of strike action as early as February 18. The unions are protesting Iberia (IBE)’s restructuring plans to lay off -4,500 workers to stem cash losses by mid-2013.

The unions (which include the (CCOO), (UGT), (USO), (ASETMA), (CTA)-Flight and (SITCPLA) as well as the (SEPLA) pilots (FC) union) claim the final proposal falls far short of what was agreed through arbitration on December 17 last year.

The unions described the proposals as “blackmail” and rejected any further negotiations. They said: “On December 17, the 6 unions and (IBE) closed a deal in (SIMA) [Spain’s arbitration board] that brought workers and management together trying to save the company. In the latest meeting, it has become clear that the board of (IAG) [Iberia (IBE)’s parent company, the International Airlines Group] does not assume that agreement, which means for the unions that (IBE) has no Spanish address and is governed by the imposition of British Airways (BAB).”

As a result, the unions have given notice of their intention to strike and are working on a timetable for industrial action.

(IBE) insists the proposal “develops the agreement reached at the (SIMA) on December 17,” and “significantly improves the initial plan submitted on November 9.”

(IBE) appealed to “the responsibility of trade unions” in hopes the amendments to the original plan would “allow an agreement to be reached.” The company insists “it is a plan for future viability, allowing (IBE) to return to profitability, with the least possible sacrifice.”

February 2013: Iberia (IBE) will cut -3,807 jobs after it failed to reach an agreement with its unions on a scaled back restructuring plan.

In November, (IBE) detailed plans to cut -4,500 jobs (equivalent to nearly a quarter of the workforce) in a bid to stem heavy losses at (IBE). At the time, it set a January 31 deadline to reach an agreement with its unions, threatening deeper cuts and a more radical restructuring if the talks failed.

On January 31, (IBE) tabled a plan to cut -3,147 jobs through early retirements, with no redundancies. It also lightened ground staff wage cuts from -18% to -11%, and flight crew (FC) salary cuts from -25 to -30% to 23%. However, the unions rejected this offer, claiming it fell short of an agreement reached through arbitration on December 17. The workers, represented by the (CCOO), (UGT), (USO), (ASETMA), (CTA)-Flight and (SITCPLA), as well as the (SEPLA) pilots (FC) union, immediately announced strike plans.

In the latest twist, (IBE) said it has now started “the formal process of collective redundancy” covering 3,807 positions. It handed the documents to unions during a meeting, kicking off a 30-day consultancy period. (IBE) claims that pay cuts, along with new productivity and mobility clauses, will keep the number of redundancies to a minimum.

An (IBE) spokeswoman explained that under Spanish law, the formal proposal must be limited to redundancies, however, she indicated that this is still subject to negotiation. “Alongside the redundancies, (IBE) is offering a social plan. If wage cuts and productivity gains can be agreed with the unions the number of redundancies can be reduced. Otherwise the redundancies will go ahead.”

(IBE) will be required to pay staff 20 days per year of service, up to a limit of 12 months, if it goes ahead with the plan.

During the 1st 9 months of 2012, (IBE) posted a -€262 million loss, growing its losses since 2008 to over >-€850 million. The company warns that it needs to take “drastic” cost-cutting measures and increase its yield to remain viable.

“Iberia (IBE) is keen to reach an agreement with the unions and will attend the meetings with the union representatives with this intention, in spite of the call for intermittent strikes lasting a total of 15 days in February and March, that don’t contribute to constructive negotiations,” said (IBE), noting it has made contingency plans for the strike days.

A short time later, (IBE) cancelled 39% of its scheduled flights over the period February 18 - 22, as it braced for the 1st wave of staff walkouts in protest against its restructuring. Detailing its contingency plans, (IBE) said it will cancel 415 of its 1,062 flights during the 4-day stoppage. The cancelled flights comprise 206 domestic sectors (53% of the normal schedule), 190 medium-haul services (39% of normal services) and 19 long-haul flights (10% of normal services).

“In the case of the long-haul flights, <4 flights a day being canceled out of almost 40. There are no flights cancelled to the USA and only a few flights to Latin American destinations.” However, (IBE) will continue to operate the remainder of its 600 daily flights in line with a Spanish government decree dictating minimum service levels. “Under the decree, 90% of all scheduled long-haul flights will take place during the 1st strike period, along with 61% of all medium-haul international flights, and 46% of domestic flights.”

It has also relaxed its ticketing rules and made arrangements with its Oneworld (ONW) Alliance partners and “another 10 airlines” to carry passengers where needed.

Contingency plans for strikes on March 4 - 8 and March 18 - 22 will be released over the coming days.

(IBE) has taken delivery of its 1st of 8 A330-300s (1377, EC-LUB) on February 8. The A330-300 was then flown to Madrid Barajas (MAD) on February 15 following painting at Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS). (IBE) initially plans to use its new wide body A330-300 on flights to London Heathrow (LHR), Rome Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci International (FCO) and Tel Aviv Ben Gurion (TLV), before deploying them on long-haul services. In summer, it is expecting to operate A330-300s to Boston General Edward Lawrence Logan International (BOS), Chicago O'Hare International (ORD), Luanda 4 De Fevereiro (LAD), Miami International (MIA) and New York John F Kennedy International (JFK).

(IBE) has canceled 39% of its schedule for the week of February 18 - 22 in preparation for staff walkouts to protest its restructuring.

March 2013: British Airways (BAB) and Iberia (IBE) parent, the International Airlines Group (IAG) reported a full-year net loss of -€885 million/$1.2 billion, down from a +€503 net profit in the year-ago period. The (IAG) said the results were depressed by (IBE)’s deteriorated performance and the integration of British Midland International (bmi) (BMA).

(IAG) (CEO) Willie Walsh cautioned that structural change is needed: “The divergent financial performance of our airlines continued. (BAB) made an operating profit of +€347 million, including bmi (BMA) losses, while (IBE) made an operating loss of -€351 million. We have embarked on a significant transformation program in (IBE) — and these results emphasize further that (IBE) must adapt to survive. It must stem its cash losses and adjust its cost base permanently if it is to compete with other airlines in all its strategic markets and lay the foundations for profitable growth in the future.”

Revenue rose +10.9% to €18.1 billion, while expenses increased +14.4% to €18.7 billion, producing an operating loss of -€613 million, down from a +€407 million operating profit in the prior-year.

Excluding exceptional items (such as a €202 million charge for (IBE)’s restructuring and €343 million (IBE) intangible asset impairment) the operating loss would have stood at -€23 million, which Walsh describes as “solid” and better-than-expected. “We believe 2013 will not see a repeat of these headwinds,” (IAG) said.

The group recently announced plans to press ahead with 3,807 redundancies and a -15% capacity cut at (IBE) after unions rejected a softer package. Traffic rose +4.4% to 176.1 billion (RPK)s on a +2.8% increase in capacity to 219.2 billion (ASK)s, producing a load factor of 80.3% LF, up +1.2 points. Yield rose +7.6% to 8.73 cents, as (RASK) increased +9.4% to 7.01 cents and (CASK) increased +11.3% to 8.28 cents. (CASK) ex-fuel, was 5.49 cents, up +8.5%.

The (IAG) achieved €313 million in synergies in 2012, exceeding its €225 million target, as joint revenue initiatives performed above expectations. “The outlook for 2013 will be impacted by the outcome of the (IBE) transformation plan negotiations, and any associated costs and losses. Subject to these, we would expect a better pre-exceptional operating result to the one achieved in 2011.”

(IBE) said it has found alternative flights for about 38,000 of the 40,000 passengers booked on flights canceled by the 2nd in a series of 3 week-long strikes by (IBE)’s ground staff (MT) and cabin crews (CA). (IBE) said it would offer new travel dates or full refunds to the 2,000 passengers it was unable to accommodate.

(IBE) said it was cancelling 431 flights this week (about 39% of its usual flight schedule) because of the strike, but would operate 680 flights (the remaining 61%). (IBE) said that it would operate 85% of all scheduled long-haul flights and 62% of medium-haul international flights, as well as 47% of domestic flights.

The strike is threatening to spill over to British Airways (BAB). (BAB) members of the Unite union in the UK are planning to stage a demonstration outside (IAG) offices. Unite is the UK’s largest trade union and represents personnel across British Airways (BAB).

Unite General Secretary, Len McLuskey said, “If [(IAG) (CEO)] Willie Walsh thinks (BAB) staff will keep quiet while he attacks their colleagues in (IBE), he is wrong. We all support those threatened by Walsh’s reckless plans.”

The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) has weighed into the debate in support of the Spanish Pilots’ Association, (Sepla), which stayed out of the earlier strike, but has joined this week’s industrial action. A further 5 days of strikes are planned for March 18 - 22, with unions reportedly threatening to extend action over the Easter peak.

Later, (IBE)'s parent company, the International Airlines Group (IAG), accepted a Spanish government-appointed mediator’s compromise proposal to end the bitter industrial strife resulting from major restructuring at (IBE). An (IAG) spokesperson said the company has accepted the proposals, which would see the number of redundancies at (IBE) reduced from 3,807 to 3,141 and severance pay-offs set at 35 days’ salary per year of service, rather than the 20 days previously announced by (IBE).

(IBE) is awaiting a decision by its unions on whether they will accept the mediator’s proposals.

The mediator’s proposals come just ahead of the 3rd bout of strike action by (IBE)’s unions, which are protesting the job losses. Personnel are due to begin 5 days of industrial action March 18.

Later, (IBE) said 93% of union-represented employees have accepted a mediator proposal, calling off scheduled strikes of ground staff and cabin crews. It will now seek to reach an agreement on the set of proposals regarding the restructuring plan with the (SEPLA) pilots (FC) union.

The ground staff (MT) and cabin crew (CA) were scheduled to strike March 18 - 22, part of a series of strikes, the last of which affected 40,000 passengers. (IBE) said it will now withdraw its plan for “mass dismissals” and will operate on a normal flight schedule.

The mediator-supplied proposal requires (IBE) to change “many aspects” of its initial viability plan and the company said it will immediately ask unions to negotiate the “measures needed to raise productivity.” “[I am] satisfied to have achieved an agreement that enables us to advance towards a leaner, more viable (IBE), able to compete on more reasonable terms in the difficult commercial aviation business,” (IBE) (CEO) Rafael Sánchez-Lozano said. “We all had to concede something, but the company is totally committed to keep negotiating with the unions about all the productivity elements that are required to return (IBE) to the forefront of the world airline industry.”

(IBE) said it “regrets” having no agreement with the (SEPLA) pilots (FC) union and called it “irresponsible and showing no solidarity.”

Later, Iberia (IBE) (CEO), Rafael Sanchez-Lozano was replaced by Iberia Express (CEO) Luis Gallego, effective immediately.

(IBE)’s parent company said: “The International Airlines Group (IAG) and Rafael Sanchez-Lozano have decided by mutual agreement that he will step down as (CEO) of (IBE) and from the (IAG) board with immediate effect. He will be replaced by Luis Gallego who is currently (CEO) of (IBE)’s subsidiary, Iberia Express. Luis has joined the (IBE) and (IAG) boards.”

The top management change follows a weak financial performance at (IBE) and labor unrest over (IBE)’s restructuring plans. Sanchez-Lozano, who has led (IBE) for 3 years, said: “The company is now entering a new phase and it is time for me to pass on the baton to my successor.”

New (CEO), Gallego will come across from (IBE)’s Madrid-based short-haul subsidiary, Iberia Express, which he has headed since its launch in March 2012. Prior to that, Gallego was Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Spanish budget carrier, Vueling (VUZ) (currently the target of an International Airlines Group (IAG) takeover approach).

“Luis Gallego has extensive experience across a range of international airlines,” (IAG) (CEO) Willie Walsh said. “He was instrumental as (CEO) of Iberia Express in creating an airline that is a great success. It is profitable, punctual and popular with customers and has created 500 much-needed jobs in Spain. (IBE) is entering its next transition phase and I have every confidence that Luis can return (IBE) to profitable growth.”

(IBE) began Madrid - Boston A330 flights.

(IBE) took delivery of the 2nd of 8 A330-300s scheduled for delivery through 2014.

April 2013: Vueling (VUZ) has unanimously recommended that shareholders accept an improved takeover offer of €9.25/$12.10 per share from the International Airlines Group (IAG).

The (IAG), which already owns 45.85% of Vueling (VUZ) as well as British Airways (BAB) and Iberia (IBE), last month raised its bid by almost one-third after a previous offer of €7 per share was rejected.

“The board of (VUZ) recommends shareholders accept the improved offer for the following reasons: the price is reasonable and within the valuation issued by experts and from a strategic point of view the deeper integration of (VUZ) in the (IAG) will offer advantages and opportunities,” (VUZ) said in a notice sent to stock exchange regulator (CNMV).

(IAG) (CEO), Willie Walsh was quoted by "Reuters" as saying the (IAG) would not merge Vueling (VUZ) with Iberia (IBE) if its takeover bid was successful. He said the profitable (VUZ) business would operate separately from loss-making (IBE) after the takeover.

The (IAG), which is trying to lay off more than >3,000 workers and cut salaries at (IBE) to return the unit to profitability, could use Vueling (VUZ) to boost its short-haul business and compete with cheaper operators, according to "Reuters."

Later, on April 23, the International Airlines Group (IAG) will own 90.51% of Spanish carrier Vueling (VUZ) after the majority of the Barcelona-based carrier’s shareholders agreed to sell to the (IAG).

The International Airlines Group (IAG) has signed a new long-term content agreement with Amadeus. The agreement (which covers British Airways (BAB), Iberia (IBE) and Iberia Express) allows Amadeus subscribers to continue to benefit from accessing the same level of fares, availability and functionality.

(IBE) will impose deeper salary cuts on staff after negotiations over increased productivity broke down.

The (IAG) has converted 18 787 options into firm orders for British Airways (BAB). The original order, placed in 2007, was for 24 firm 787s, with 18 options. The Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent 1000)-powered 787s will replace some of (BAB)’s 747-400s between 2017 and 2021.

According to the (IAG), Iberia (IBE) has reached agreement with Boeing to “secure commercial terms and delivery slots for a possible 787 order. Firm orders will only be made when (IBE) has restructured and reduced its cost base and is in a position grow profitably.”

(BAB) has 118 wide body long-haul airplanes in its fleet with 42 airplanes on order (not including the 18 787 options it has agreed to firm), comprising 12 A380s, 24 787s and 6 777-300ERs.

(IBE)’s fleet comprises 31 wide body long-haul airplanes with 6 A330s on order.

The firming of the 18 787 options is subject to approval by the (IAG) shareholders.

May 2013: The International Airlines Group (IAG) reported a sharp deterioration in its 1st-quarter results compared to the previous year, taking into account exceptional items. The (IAG) reported a post-tax loss of -€630 million/-$819 million, >4 times the loss of -€129 million for the year-ago period. Revenue rose by +0.5% to €3.93 billion, while operating loss was slightly worse at -€278 million compared to -€249 million.

The International Airlines Group (IAG) is looking to acquire the remaining shares in Vueling (VUZ) for €9.25/$11.96 per share and delist the carrier from the Barcelona, Bilbao, Madrid, and Valencia stock exchanges.

The (IAG) Group already owns 90.51% of Vueling (VUZ), including a 45.85% stake which is held by its Iberia (IBE) subsidiary, following its successful takeover bid earlier this year.

"The International Airlines Group’s (IAG) subsidiary, Vueling (VUZ) has called a general shareholders’ meeting on June 27, 2013 to approve the delisting of (VUZ)’s shares from the Spanish stock exchanges," the (IAG) said.

The "Financial Times" (FT) reported that Qatar Airways (QTA) had approached the International Airlines Group (IAG), the owner of British Airways (BAB) and Iberia (IBE), with an informal offer to become the company’s largest shareholder by buying the 12% stake held by Spain’s nationalized lender Bankia.

The (FT) said that (QTA) had approached the (IAG) to ask whether the company would welcome it as a shareholder. The financial daily cited one of those people as saying the initial approach was made last year, though it wasn’t clear which Qatari entity would buy the Bankia stake.

A 3rd person familiar with the matter told the (FT) that the (IAG) had informed Bankia of the interest from Qatar (QTA) about 3 months ago. “This is an issue for Bankia and we’re not going to comment further,” an (IAG) spokeswoman told "Reuters."

Earlier this year, Bankia (the biggest failed bank in Spain’s history) hired Rothschild to help sell its stakes in companies including power group Iberdrola and insurer Mapfre, as the bank rebuilds its capital.

Later, however, Qatar Airways (QTA) through its (CEO), Akbar Al Baker, says it is “not interested” in purchasing a 12% stake in the International Airlines Group (IAG) currently held by Spain's nationalized lender, Bankia. The news comes after "The Financial Times" recently reported that the state of Qatar had sounded out (IAG) with an informal offer to become the company's largest shareholder by buying the 12% stake held by Bankia. Al Baker also said he was “not aware” that any other Qatari entity had an interest in the Bankia stake. “Any other entity will not get into any kind of discussion in an airline, or an airline stake, without asking Qatar Airways (QTA),” said Al Baker. (QTA) already has a prominent investment in UK aviation after Qatar Holding, an investment arm of the country’s sovereign wealth fund, last year agreed to buy a 20% stake in Heathrow airport Holdings, the owner of London Heathrow (LHR), for GBP900 million. Akbar Al Baker is one of two Qatari representatives on the Heathrow board.

June 2013: A330-302 (1426, EC-LXK), ex-(F-WWCG) 2013-06.

July 2013: Iberia (IBE) increased its offering to the Canary Islands from mainland Spain, as it launched operations on the 1,900 km route from Asturias (OVD) in northern Spain to Gran Canaria (LPA). Beginning on July 19, (IBE) offers four weekly frequencies, which will be reduced to weekly from September 1. CRJ900s are deployed to operate the service, which competes with AirEuropa (ARE)’s weekly schedule. Iberia (IBE)’s new route is operated by Air Nostrum, which also flies for the airline on routes to Lanzarote and Tenerife Norte from Asturias.

(IBE), which the previous week connected Asturias (OVD) and Gran Canaria, added its second destination to the Canary Islands from the northern Spanish airport on July 23. 2x-weekly services are offered on the route to Lanzarote (ACE) and operated using Air Nostrum’s CRJ900s until August 28. AirEuropa (ARE) provides competition in the market which it also serves with 2x-weekly flights.

Iberia (IBE) will cut its senior management headcount from 82 to 44 positions as part of its restructuring aimed at restoring profitability.

The International Airlines Group (IAG) subsidiary says its new organizational structure will be “leaner, more flexible and more efficient” and (crucially) more cost-effective.

Following the changes, (IBE) has created a new Strategic Planning & Finance department. This unit has been given increased and more centralized economic responsibility. It has also been charged with formulating (IBE)’s medium- and long-term strategy.

In addition, a new Network & Alliance department has been created to oversee Business Development, Alliances and (IBE)’s Flight Program, alongside new Digital Business and Customer Experience units. Other functions (such as Airport Services, Commercial, Marketing, Production and Technical Services) have been strengthened and reorganized to boost profitability. “Our aim is to transform Iberia (IBE) to restore profitability and competitiveness, and to do this it is indispensable for us to change the way we work. This is a task that involves all of us. (IBE) has a future, but to reach it, we need to continue with the transformation plan now underway,” (IBE) (CEO) Luis Gallego said.

Iberia (IBE) has introduced its print-at-home luggage tag capability "MyBagTag." The service, accessible online at (IBE)’s website, enables customers to specify the number of luggage pieces and then download, print and attach the tags themselves, once the printer page has been folded into quarters. Re-useable plastic envelopes for holding the tags are available at any Spanish airport, and customers can check-in the pre-tagged luggage at special bag-drop counters. During the trial run at airports that included Madrid, Malaga and Barcelona, “the reading of the tags proved to be 100% reliable, regardless of the printer, paper, or ink color,” (IBE) said.

(IBE) claims to be the 1st airline to implement print-at-home luggage tags. Last October, Billund Airport in Denmark became the 1st airport to introduce print-at-home luggage tag technology.

August 2013: The International Airlines Group (IAG) (BAB)/(IBE) has reported a 2nd-quarter net profit of +€127 million/+$168.3 million, reversing a -€78 million loss in the year-ago period.

The International Airlines Group (IAG) (BAB)/(IBE) is on track to acquire 97.52% direct and indirect ownership of Vueling (VUZ), falling short of its 100% target. The (IAG) Group (which owns 90.51% of (VUZ) that includes a 45.85% stake held by its (IBE) subsidiary) was looking to acquire the remaining 9.49% stake for €9.25/$11.96 per share to give it full ownership.

However, the (IAG) said in a stock market announcement it had acquired only 73.9% of the outstanding shares. “This represents 7.01% of (VUZ)’s share capital. The offer acceptance level is below 90%, which is lower than the threshold that would have enabled the (IAG) Group to exercise its squeeze-out right. Following settlement of the delisting tender offer, the (IAG) Group will own 97.52% of (VUZ), which will be delisted from the Spanish stock exchanges,” the (IAG) said.

Iberia (IBE) begins 3x-weekly, Madrid - Quito A340-600 flights on October 26.

The International Airlines Group (IAG) (parent to British Airways (BAB), Iberia (IBE) and Vueling (VUZ)) has called on its shareholders to meet September 26 to formally approve orders for 98 Airbus (EDS) and Boeing (TBC) airplanes in an extraordinary general meeting in Madrid.

In a stock market disclosure, the (IAG) said shareholders will be asked to approve the purchase of 18 787s and 18 A350s for British Airways (BAB), plus 30 A320ceos and 32 A320neos for Vueling (VUZ).

Earlier this month, (IAG) announced plans to acquire up to 220 A320 family airplanes, including the 30 A320ceos and 32 A320neos for (VUZ).

Iberia (IBE) has been omitted from the order plans, although the (IAG) has options for 32 A350-900s and 12 787-9s earmarked for (IBE), pending its restructuring.

The International Airlines Group (IAG) has options for 32 A350-900s and 12 787-9s, which could be destined for (IBE) if the Spanish carrier succeeds with its restructuring plan.

The (IAG) said it had secured options for (IBE)'s fleet renewal in April, although at the time it did not disclose airplane numbers. “We have 32 options for the A350, 12 options for the 787 and also we have the options with A330s,” new (IBE) (CEO) Luis Gallego said, speaking at the release of (IAG)’s interim results.

If firmed, the A350s and 787s will be used for growth and to replace (IBE)’s existing A330s and A340s. However, Gallego stressed the new airplanes are conditional on (IBE)’s successful restructuring. “We are changing (IBE). We know that we must transform the company if we want a future.”

(IBE) also holds pre-purchase agreements on 4 A320s and 8 A330s for delivery between 2015 and 2017.

This year, (IBE) has taken delivery of 5 A320s, with another 2 pending, and 4 A330-300s with +1 more due by year-end. In 2014, it is scheduled to take 2 A319s and 3 A330-300s. (IBE) is also retrofitting its A340-600s with a new cabin. 7 are due to be completed this year, followed by a further 10 in 2014.

(BAB) and Iberia (IBE) parent, (IAG) is to order up to 220 Airbus A320-family jets, initially for low-cost carrier (LCC) Vueling (VUZ).
The firm part of the order comprises 62 airplanes (including 32 A320neo) plus 58 options.

(IAG) is also taking another 100 A320neo options for (BAB), (IBE) and (VUZ). Vueling (VUZ) (CEO), Alex Cruz, through his social media feed, describes the agreement as "great, great news!"

September 2013: Iberia (IBE) began 2X-weekly, Madrid - Luanda A330-300 flights.

October 2013: Iberia (IBE) said it will present its new corporate logo and brand image in Madrid on October 15. The launch of the new image will become effective in mid-November with the delivery of (IBE)’s 1st A330 bearing the new logo, which is nearing completion at the Airbus (EDS) factory in Toulouse. (IBE) said the new brand image, which will keep the current symbols and color scheme that identify (IBE) as the Spanish flag carrier, is part of a wider renovation and modernization program.

Iberia (IBE) has unveiled its new logo and livery, which will be incorporated on its fifth Airbus A330 - - SEE ATTACHED - - "IBE-2013-10 - NEW LIVERY," which is scheduled for delivery in mid-November. (IBE) said the new brand image, which will keep the current symbols and color scheme that identify the airline as the Spanish flag carrier, is part of a wider renovation and modernization program.

(IBE) (CEO) Luis Gallego said the new branding is “not just a matter of changing the company logo, but of bringing the new image to every corner of (IBE), so the change will be perceived in all our products and the service we provide to our customers.”

According to (IBE), the A330 is also equipped with the “all-new business (C) and tourist (Y) class cabin interiors and furnishings, another important manifestation of (IBE)’s transformation process.”
The new interiors are also being installed on (IBE)'s fleet of A340-600s, and the new logo and corporate image will be visible on all decorative elements.

(IBE) said its airplanes will be progressively imprinted with the new company logo and livery, and the logo and color scheme will gradually appear at the airports where (IBE) operates—chiefly at (IBE)’s T4 hub in Madrid.

Other new initiatives taken under the transformation plan include the "MyBagTag" service to speed luggage check-in and airport Quick Service Points.

Air Europa (ARE) has been talking up its ambitions in Latin America. It has firm orders for eight 787 airplanes, but its President, Juan Jose Hidalgo recently said it will eventually have up to 22 of the type by 2020 - 2022. He plans to deploy them on Latin American routes. These could include Mexico City, Bogota, Cartagena, and Quito.

Currently, Iberia (IBE) is the leader on all 3 routes to Latin America, where it competes with Air Europa (ARE) and is number one overall on Spain to LatAm. However, (ARE) has been picking up routes dropped by its larger rival and Mr Hidalgo says it plans “to fly all the destinations that (IBE) flies to.” The pendulum is swinging towards (ARE) in much of the region outside Central America. (IBE) has abandoned the Caribbean altogether.

Air Europa (ARE) has a unit cost advantage and ambitions to grow. This poses a credible threat to Iberia (IBE)’s Latin American network. (IBE)’s cost restructuring will have to succeed if it is to avoid a further dulling of its brightest network jewel.

Iberia Express has replaced its parent company (IBE) on the capital city pairing of Madrid (MAD) to Berlin Tegel (TXL), with the latter having withdrawn from the route at the end of the Winter 12th/13th season. The route will be operated 3x-weekly by A320s. Competition on the route is limited to just 1 airline, namely airberlin (BER), which offers 11x-weekly services on the 1,856 km sector.

November 2013: The International Airlines Group (IAG), parent company of British Airways (BAB) and Iberia (IBE) reported profit before tax of +€103 million/+$138.8 million for the 9 months to September 30, reversing a loss before tax of -€121 million for the year-ago period.

British Airways (BAB) (CEO) Keith Williams and his Iberia (IBE) counterpart, Luis Gallego are to step down from the (IAG) board in January, and add Chairman duties to their respective roles at the subsidiary airlines.

Both will continue to report to (IAG) (CEO) Willie Walsh.

The current non-Executive Chairmen of Iberia (IBE) and (BAB) (Antonio Vázquez and Martin Broughton, respectively) will, having resigned these positions, focus on their (IAG) board functions. Vázquez chairs (IAG). Broughton is his deputy and a senior independent director.

Following the reshuffle, (IAG)'s board will have 12 members.

December 2013: Iberia (IBE) will add 3 weekly flights to make a total of 10 to its Madrid (MAD) - Santiago (SCL) service through the end of February 2014.

The new color scheme is proceeding as part of the restructuring plan. The traditional red and yellow colors are retained: the Spanish crown has disappeared from the logo; however, the 1st repainted airplane, A330 (EC-LYF) has been named "Juan Carlos I" - - SEE PHOTO - - "IBE-A330 - NEW LIVERY - 2013-12." The change will take between 5 and 10 years to fully implement on the fleet.

Impacted by a national economic slump, low cost carriers (LCC)s, and High-speed trains, Iberia (IBE) has failed to make a profit since its merger with British Airways in 2011. (IBE) is reducing staff numbers by -3,141 and average salaries and capacity by -15% and -14%, respectively.

January 2014: Iberia (IBE) will add 3x-weekly flights to make a total of 10 to its Madrid Barajas - Santiago International service through the end of February.

(IBE) has completed the modification of 2 long-haul Airbus A340/600s, which included installing all new cabin interiors, seats, and in-flight entertainment and communications systems. This brings to 6 the total number of units equipped with the new interiors. (IBE) expects to complete the refitting of its entire fleet of 18 A340/600s by early 2015.

The International Airlines Group (IAG) Cargo will end its arrangement with Global Supply Systems (GSS), which operated 3 Boeing 747-8F freighters on its behalf. The move comes after British Airways (BAB), which formed (IAG) Cargo with Iberia (IBE)’s freight division, decided to pull out of the dedicated freighter airplane market.

Alas Air Worldwide Holdings (TLS) said British Airways (BAB) had terminated the lease agreement ahead of schedule. (TLS) shares fell as much as -19% in early trading on January 17th. (TLS) said the lease for three 747-8F airplanes operated by (TLS)'s UK subsidiary, Global Supply Systems (GSS) was terminated, following British Airways (BAB)'s decision to exit dedicated cargo-freighter service.

(GSS) was operating the three 747-8F airplanes for (BAB) and the lease agreement was originally scheduled to end in April 2014.

Atlas Air (TLS) said it would receive early termination fees from British Airways (BAB). (GSS) will redeliver the 747-8Fs to Atlas Air (TLS).

(IAG) Cargo will retain a dedicated cargo service, a 5x-weekly, London - Hong Kong route, which will be operated by Qatar Airways (QTA) Boeing 777Fs. Both British Airways (BAB) and (QTA) are members of the Oneworld (ONW) alliance. “This new partnership is an important step forward for us and enhances our relationship with (QTA),” (IAG) (CEO) Willie Walsh said. “It allows us to continue delivering significant capacity for our customers through the important gateway of Hong Kong. With the ongoing arrival of our next generation airplanes, (IAG) Cargo’s customers will now benefit from increased belly-hold capacity as well as the deployment of freighter services on capacity constrained routes.”

February 2014: The International Airlines Group (IAG) swung to a +€147 million/+$201 million net profit in 2013, compared to a -€696 million net loss in 2012, boosted in part by Iberia (IBE)’s ongoing restructuring.

British Airways (BAB) posted a full-year operating profit of +€762 million, while (IBE) stemmed its operating loss at -€166 million. Meanwhile, newly acquired Vueling (VUZ) delivered an operating profit of +€168 million from the date of its acquisition by (IAG) in April 2013. (IAG) (CEO), Willie Walsh described the performance as a “strong financial recovery and return to profitability.”

Over the 12 months ended December 31, 2013, (IAG)’s revenues rose +3.1% to €18.6 billion, while costs fell -1.3% to €18 billion. This delivered a +€527 million operating profit after exceptional items, marking a drastic improvement from the -€613 million operating loss it posted in 2012.

Before exceptional items, the 2013 operating profit stood at +€770 million, up from a -€23 million prior-year loss.

Traffic was up +5.8% at 186.3 billion (RPK)s, off the back of a +5.2% increase in capacity to 230.6 billion (ASK)s, producing a load factor of 80.8% LF, up half a point. Yield remained stable at 8.73 cents, while as (RASK) increased +0.6% to 7.05 cents and (CASK) decreased -6.2% to 7.77 cents. (CASK) ex-fuel was 5.18 cents, down -5.6%.

“Iberia (IBE) has made huge progress on cost control as its restructuring takes shape,” Walsh said. “The recent pay and productivity agreements between (IBE) and its pilot (FC) and cabin crew (CA) unions are key to reducing (IBE)’s costs further and providing the foundation for profitable growth.”

In 2014, the (IAG) is aiming to make “steady progress” toward its +€1.8 billion 2015 group-wide operating profit target. It is forecasting “relatively flat” unit revenue growth, with margins being driven by lower unit costs.

Iberia (IBE) parent, the International Airlines Group (IAG) is hoping to cement (IBE)’s future by striking a new ground staff deal and finalizing tentative agreements with its pilots (FC) and cabin attendants (CA).

Iberia (IBE) will be the 1st Spanish airline to equip cockpits with electronic flight bags (EFB)s and iPads to replace checklists, manuals and other paper documents used in flight preparations and operations.

Iberia (IBE) has reached an agreement in principle on pay and conditions with its cabin crew (CA) unions, in another step toward controlling costs. (IBE) and its four unions ((SITCPLA), (CTA) Vuelo, (UGT) and (CCOO)) have agreed on several conditions in what (IBE) refers to as a “pre-agreement.”

These include substantially improving productivity; maintaining a 14% pay cut established in last year’s mediation agreement and freezing pay through 2015; setting starting salaries at market levels and changing methods of calculating seniority/promotions; and changing productivity measures to include an increase in the number of duty days. Additionally, new working practices are being introduced in short- and medium-haul services that are more closely aligned with market practices. When these productivity measures are applied, an additional -4% pay cut, which was introduced in April 2013, will be returned.

The new contract, if confirmed, will remain in force until December 31, 2017. The agreement comes as (IBE) tries to recover from its poor financial situation. International Airlines Group (IAG) (CEO), Willie Walsh has said on several occasions that costs at the loss-making (IBE) have to be brought under control.

Earlier in February, (IBE) signed a similar conditions deal with pilots (FC).

Iberia (IBE) Chairman & (CEO) Luis Gallego said the agreement in principle with the cabin crew (CA) unions “is a key step in building the new (IBE), since it lightens its cost structure and lays the foundation for profitable growth.”

March 2014: Iberia (IBE) will increase its Airbus A340 5x-weekly, Madrid - Panama City service to 6x-weekly in June and daily in July.

April 2014: Iberia is to add 5 new cities from Madrid: Santo Domingo, 5x-weekly (September 1); Istanbul, daily (June 20); Athens, moves to year-round from summer service; Stockholm, 2x-weekly to daily (September 1); Amsterdam, 2x-daily, (July 1) to 3x-daily (September).

US Airways (AMW)/(USA) has joined American Airlines (AAL), British Airways (BAB), Iberia (IBE) and Finnair (FIN) in their transatlantic joint venture (JV). As part of the joint business (established by Oneworld (ONW) global alliance partners (AAL), (BAB) and (IBE) in October 2010) the airlines can cooperate commercially on transatlantic flights. The joint venture also includes a revenue-sharing agreement in which member airlines have permission to coordinate schedules and pricing on North Atlantic routes.

International Airlines Group (IAG) (CEO), Willie Walsh said the addition of (AMW)/(USA), which merged with (AAL) at the end of 2013, provided “unmatched” capability on transatlantic routes. (BAB) is part of the (IAG) Group.

(AAL) (CEO) Doug Parker said he was “extremely pleased with the foundation that has been established” since the merger was completed. He said the merged airline’s relationship with the Oneworld (ONW) Alliance was an important part of his plan to restore (AAL)’s position as “the best airline in the world.”

Iberia (IBE) has been certified by Spain’s Air Safety Agency to maintain International Aero Engines (IAE) (V2500)s.

May 2014: The International Airlines Group (IAG) showed a marked improvement in its 1st-quarter figures compared to the year-ago quarter as restructuring at Spanish flag-carrier Iberia (IBE) continues to flow through to the bottom line.

Net losses were reduced to -€184 million/-$253.7 million compared to a loss of -€630 million in the year-ago period. The result was achieved on revenue of €4.20 billion, up +6.7% on last time’s €3.93 billion. The winter period is traditionally the weakest quarter for most European airlines.

Capacity jumped +11.8% to 56.3 billion (ASK)s, while (RPK)s lagged slightly to 43.2 billion, up +10.9%. Load factor was down -0.7 point to 76.7% LF.

“Iberia (IBE) has almost halved its losses from the 1st quarter last year with an operating loss of -€111 million compared to -€202 million,” (IAG) (CEO) Willie Walsh said. “(IBE) continues to benefit from restructuring and these figures don’t reflect the impact of recent pay and productivity agreements, which took effect in April. While the restructuring remains a work in progress, (IBE) is gradually resuming some routes, including long-haul services to Santo Domingo and Montevideo,” he said.

British Airways (BAB) reported an operating loss of -€5 million in the quarter, compared to a -€72 million operating loss in the 2013 1st quarter. (BAB) has increased capacity within a controlled cost environment and benefited from the efficiency of its new Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 airplanes.

Vueling (VUZ) posted an operating loss of -€30 million and has managed to keep its losses flat, while growing capacity. (VUZ) continues to grow, with its main focus in southern Europe.

Cargo revenue for the quarter decreased -7.4%, with yields down -3.8% on a constant currency basis. Cargo demand and yields remained weak due to overall excess capacity in the market.

Other revenue dipped -10.5% from the elimination of Iberia (IBE)’s handling and maintenance revenue related to Vueling (VUZ), which was included in the comparative period.

Walsh said the (IAG) was pleased at the “significant” reduction in quarterly operating loss from -€278 million a year ago to -€150 million this time, “especially as Vueling (VUZ)’s quarterly losses were not included last year as they weren’t in the Group.” At constant currency, revenue was up +7.6% and non-fuel costs rose +4.8%.

A combination of the addition of low-cost carrier (LCC) (VUZ) to the Group, (IBE)’s restructuring and British Airways (BAB)'s growth led to a drop in employee unit costs of 11.7%. Average number of employees increased +0.6% compared to the same period last year, while productivity improved +11.2%.

Fuel unit costs decreased -8.9%, driven by a mix of lower average fuel prices net of hedging and consumption efficiencies achieved through the introduction of new airplanes.

Walsh held out the prospect of substantially better full-year results: “We expect to improve operating profit for the 2014 full year by at least €500 million, from a 2013 base of €770 million. Unit revenues should remain relatively flat, with margin expansion driven by a reduction in unit costs.”

Iberia (IBE) has begun 2x-weekly (Tuesdays and Saturdays) services between its main hub at Madrid (MAD) and the French town of Tarbes Lourdes (LDE), famous for the Marian apparitions said to have occurred in 1858. Started on May 3rd, the 422 km sector, which is operated by Air Nostrum’s CRJ 200s, will encounter no direct competition.

June 2014: Iberia (IBE) and Interjet (AAE) signed a code sharing agreement linking 80 (IBE) Iberia European cities with 24 Mexican cities on the (AAE) map. This is (AAE)’s 1st code sharing agreement and links it to (IBE)’s routes in Spain, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Iberia (IBE) operates 2x-daily, Madrid - Mexico City.

Iberia (IBE) increased from daily its Madrid - Chicago service to 10x-weekly, while adding one flight to its Madrid - Panama service to 6x-weekly; in July, this service goes to daily.

July 2014: Iberia (IBE) reintroduced operations on July 1st between Madrid (MAD) and Amsterdam (AMS) having pulled out of the city pair in January 2013. This time around, the 2x-daily service is operated by Iberia Express, the lower operating cost subsidiary of the mainline carrier, using its A320s. In terms of the incumbents on the route, (KLM) offers a 5x-daily operation, while Air Europa (ARE) flies 2x-daily. From September 1st, (IBE) anticipates increasing its operation to 3x-daily.

Iberia (IBE) began daily, Madrid - Panama City, Airbus A330/A340 service. (IBE) is adding two flights weekly on Madrid - Bogota, beginning August 9 and then adding three in September for a total of 10x-weekly. (IBE)’s new code share with (LAN) Columbia (AIR) allows connections to Barranquilla, Bucaramanga, Cali, Cartagena de Indias, Medellín, Pereira, and Santa Marta, Colombia.

Iberia (IBE) launched a seasonal domestic service between Asturias (OVD) and Gran Canaria (LPA), which will operate between July 18th and August 31st only. Air Nostrum will fly the 1,922 km sector four times weekly with its 90-seat CRJ 900s. Air Europa (ARE) will provide direct competition, flying the route weekly.

(IBE) has begun its third service to the Canary Islands from Asturias (OVD), with a weekly (Tuesdays) service to Lanzarote (ACE). Joining its existing flights to Las Palmas and Tenerife North, the 90-seat CRJ 900-operated seasonal route (until August 26th) is flown on Air Nostrum airplanes. The 1,751 km sector, started on July 22nd, will be up against the incumbent Air Europa (ARE)’s twice-weekly operation.

Unions representing Iberia (IBE)’s pilots (FC) and ground staff have approved a proposal covering up to -1,427 voluntary redundancies, which will be rolled out over the period to December 2017.

At the beginning of July, (IBE) launched a consultation for 1,581 voluntary redundancies, in addition to the 3,100 that were previously agreed. The consultation was due to last a maximum of 30 days, establishing exact numbers, functions and timings for the cuts.

Iberia (IBE) said it struck an agreement with pilots (FC) and ground staff covering a maximum of 1,427 positions. The workforce reduction will be achieved through a mix of early retirements, voluntary redundancies, working hours' reductions and deferred reassignments.

An (IBE) spokeswoman said (IBE) has a rough idea of how many people might take early retirement, but the final figure will depend on how many people accept the voluntary redundancy offer.

“The reason the number is smaller [than the 1,581 originally sought] is because cabin crew (CA) are not included. They haven’t agreed [to the voluntary redundancies] and nothing more is expected or planned. The difference is about 160 positions, so it is not that huge,” the spokeswoman said. She added that the failure to reach an agreement with the cabin crew (CA) will not result in compulsory redundancies.

This latest downsizing comes in addition to the -3,100 job cuts, which were agreed through mediation and will be completed by early 2015, affecting a range of functions across(IBE). The majority of these cuts are also voluntary.

As of December 31, 2013, Iberia (IBE) had approximately 18,000 employees.

Iberia (IBE) is looking to cut another -1,581 jobs (on top of the -3,100 redundancies it is already rolling out) under a consultation that was formally launched July 11th.

The staff consultation, which was announced to the London Stock Exchange by Iberia (IBE) parent, the International Airlines Group (IAG), will run for a maximum of 30 days and will establish the exact numbers, functions and timings of the redundancies. “(IBE) has today informed its employees and trade unions that it intends to start a consultation period for a collective redundancy process which will involve up to 1,581 jobs. This option was discussed as part of the collective bargaining negotiations with the airline’s unions last April. It is a continuation of Iberia (IBE)’s transformation plan to introduce permanent structural changes across the airline enabling it to grow profitably in the future,” (IAG) said.

An (IAG) spokeswoman said the job cuts will be voluntary, building on pay and productivity agreements, which were agreed with unions earlier this year. She added that the potential for further cuts was revealed at the release of (IAG)’s financial results in February, but this marks the start of the formal staff consultation process.

This latest downsizing comes in addition to the -3,100 job cuts, which were agreed through mediation and will be completed by early 2015, affecting a range of functions across the airline. The majority of these cuts are also voluntary.

(IBE) offers OnAir’s in-flight connectivity on transatlantic routes between Europe and the Americas. By 2015, both Mobile OnAir and Internet OnAir will be installed on 25 (IBE) Airbus A330s and A340s. Passengers on these long-haul airplanes can use their phones and tablets to chat, tweet and send text messages.

August 2014: The International Airlines Group (IAG), parent company of Iberia (IBE) and British Airways (BAB), reported 2nd-quarter net income of +€280 million/+$375 million, more than doubled from a +€127 million profit in the year-ago period, marking the best 2nd quarter results for all of the (IAG) carriers since 2007. “This performance shows that we are making further solid progress. Our disciplined approach to capacity continues, and we will make reductions where it makes sense as we go through the year. We are, therefore, trimming planned (IAG) capacity by around -3% points for the winter 2014 season,” (IAG) (CEO), Willie Walsh said.

For the 3 months ended June 30, revenue rose +6.7% to $5.1 billion, while expenses rose +4% to €4.7 billion, producing an operating profit of +€380 million, up +55.7% from a +€244 million operating profit in the prior-year quarter.

Traffic rose +10% to 52.1 billion (RPK)s on a +10.8% increase in capacity to 64.6 billion (ASK)s, producing a load factor of 80.7% LF, up +0.6 point.

Yield dipped -1.1% to 8.66 cents, as (RASK) lowered -1.8% to 6.99 cents and (CASK) decreased -6.1% to 7.29 cents. (CASK) ex-fuel was 4.95 cents, down -4.4%.

British Airways (BAB)’s operating profit was +€332 million, up from +€247 million last year, while Iberia (IBE) made an operating profit of +€16 million, compared with an operating loss of -€35 million last year. Vueling (VUZ)’s operating profit was +€30 million, up from +€27 million last year.

“(IBE)'s restructuring continues to have a positive impact and last week (IBE) signed an agreement that could lead to an additional reduction of up to -1,427 jobs. This will create new opportunities for (IBE) to enhance its profitability further in the next 2 or 3 years.

In the half year, the (IAG) made a +€230 million operating profit, reversing last year’s -€33 million operating loss. Revenue was up +6.7%, with non-fuel costs up +4.9%.

“At current fuel prices and foreign exchange rates, we expect to improve operating profit for the 2014 full year by at least +€500 million, from a 2013 base of €770 million. Passenger unit revenues should remain relatively flat, with margin expansion driven by a reduction in unit costs,” Walsh said.

Iberia (IBE) is to add two new cities on the service from Madrid on October 26: Stuttgart 4x-weekly, and Hanover 3x-weekly.

The International Airlines Group (IAG) will firm up 8 Airbus A350-900 options for Iberia, along with 8 A330-200s that will come from existing options or be sourced on operating lease.

“Iberia (IBE) has taken significant steps to restructure its business and the progress made so far means that we can bring new long-haul aircraft into the airline’s fleet. These orders demonstrate our commitment to make (IBE) competitive,” (IAG) (CEO) Willie Walsh said. “Retaining an all Airbus long-haul fleet will also generate cost savings in maintenance and crewing.”

(IBE) will use the new airplanes, which are scheduled for delivery between 2015 and 2020, to replace its 16 A340s. (IBE) currently operates 33 long-haul airplanes.

The A350 options formed part of the long-haul order that (IAG) announced in April 2013. (IAG) values the 8 A350s at $285 million at list prices, although it added: “(IAG) has negotiated a substantial discount from the list price.”

The (IBE) A350s will be powered by Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent XWB) engines, supported with a TotalCare maintenance package.

Regarding the A330s, (IAG) said: “The airplanes will be obtained either by converting existing options from the 2011 Airbus order or from the operating lease market, depending on financial and delivery terms.”

September 2014: Iberia (IBE) has restarted operations from its Madrid (MAD) hub to the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo (MVD), a route which it last operated in March 2013. Commenced on August 31st, the 4x-weekly operation is flown by (IBE)’s 254-seat A340s. The following day, (IBE) started 5x-weekly flights to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic with its 289-seat A330-300s. Both routes face competition from the incumbent Air Europa (ARE), with Montevideo being flown 4x-weekly, while Santo Domingo is operated daily.

The International Airlines Group (IAG) has firmed up 8 Airbus A330-200 options for Iberia (IBE), valued at $1.5 billion at list prices, and taken options on a further 10 A330s for the group.
At the beginning of August, the (IAG) outlined plans to acquire a further 8 A330-200s for (IBE), but at the time it was undecided on whether to take them on operating lease, or firm up options from its 2011 Airbus order.

“The (IAG) has decided to convert the eight into firm orders. These airplanes will be delivered between 2015 and 2018. In addition, the (IAG) has taken out options for a further 10 A330s to provide fleet flexibility for the group.”

The (IAG) said it had negotiated a “substantial discount from the list price” for the 242 tonne-version twinjets and, in the long term, it expects to secure at least a 12% return on the capital invested in the airplanes.

(IBE) will use the additional aircraft, along with the 8 A350-900s it has on order, to replace 16 of its A340s. Its current all-Airbus fleet comprises 13 A319s, 12 A320s, 18 A321s, 8 A330-300s, 8 A340-300s and 17 A340-600s.

The airplanes will be powered by (GE) (CF6) engines.

A320-214 (1694, EC-IEI), ex-(F-WWBT), delivery.

October 2014: Iberia (IBE), flying under the auspices of its Iberia Express brand, has joined its Madrid (MAD) hub with the German cities of Hannover (HAJ) and Stuttgart (STR). Both sectors will face no direct city pair competition and the duo are flown by Iberia Express’ A320s. Beginning on October 25th, the 1,670 km sector to Hannover will be operated 3x-weekly, while the 1,362 km sector to Stuttgart will be flown four 4x-weekly and starts a day later. Both Hannover and Stuttgart are bases for Lufthansa (DLH)’s (LCC) germanwings (RFG) which operated the Stuttgart - Madrid route between 2006 and 2010, and currently serves the Spanish capital from Düsseldorf and Hamburg.

Iberia Express offers 5x-weekly, Madrid - Dublin winter service.

A320-214 (1694, EC-IEI), ex-(F-WWBT), delivery.

November 2014: News Item A-1: The International Airlines Group (IAG) reported a net profit of +€598 million/+$749 million for the quarter ended September 30, up +3.1% from +€580 million in the year-ago period.

Operating profit for the 3rd quarter was up +18% to +€818 million and revenue was up +8.5% to +€5.9 billion.

The (IAG) attributed the improved performance largely to an increase in passenger revenue and a reduction in unit costs, especially at Spanish subsidiary, Iberia (IBE).

(IAG) (CEO), Willie Walsh said: “At constant currency, revenue was up +6.9% with non-fuel unit costs down -4.5% and fuel unit costs down -7.5%. Capacity grew efficiently and both our non-fuel and fuel unit cost performances were strong, with the latter boosted by the introduction of new, more efficient airplanes into our fleet.”

According to Walsh, “British Airways (BAB) made an operating profit of +€607 million, compared to +€477 million last year, and grew capacity, while retaining its focus on cost control. Iberia (IBE)’s operating profit increased to +€162 million from +€74 million last year, highlighting its strong cost discipline combined with the continued benefits of restructuring.”

He said that Barcelona-based, low-cost carrier (LCC) subsidiary, Vueling (VUZ), which became part of the (IAG) last year, “continued to grow, developing new bases in Italy and Belgium, with an operating profit of +€140 million compared to +€139 million last year.”

Passenger numbers for the quarter were up +9.9% to 23.4 million year-on-year, while (ASK)s grew +9% to 69.3 billion, and (RPK)s increased +8.1% to 58.2 billion. Seat load factor was down -0.8% points to 83.9% LF from 84.7% LF year-on-year. Operating costs were also up +5.3% on last year to just over >€5 billion.

For the 1st 9 months of the year, (IAG) net profit was up to +€694 million from +€77 million in the same period last year, with operating profit up to just >€1 billion from +€348 million in the year-ago period.

Revenue for the nine months was up +7.4% to €15.2 billion, and operating costs were up +4.2% to €14.1 billion.

Passenger numbers were up +16.8% to 59 million for the 9-month period. (ASK)s increased +10.5% to 190.2 billion, and (RPK)s up +9.5% to 153.5 billion. Seat factor was down -0.7% points to 80.7% LF.

In terms of the trading outlook, Walsh said: “For the full year 2014, we expect to produce an improvement in operating profit before exceptional items in the range of +€550 million to +€600 million, from a base of +€770 million in 2013.”

News Item A-2: British Airways (BAB) and Iberia (IBE) parent, the International Airlines Group (IAG) has outlined plans to achieve a 10% to 14% operating profit margin over the period 2016 - 2020.

News Item A-3: The International Airlines Group (IAG) selected (CF6-80E1) engines to power 8 new A330s for Iberia (IBE). This selection doubles (IBE)’s (CF6-80E1)-powered A330 fleet to a total of 16 airplanes. The list price for the firm engine order on the eight new airplanes is valued at >$275 million.

December 2014: Iberia (IBE) Maintenance will repair avionics and other Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) airplane components for (CAE) full-flight simulators in Europe. The three-year contract covers inspection and repair of avionics components, such as the multipurpose control-display unit and flight-management guidance computers. It also allows the use of spare parts held by Iberia (IBE).

January 2015: News Item A-1: Qatar Airways (QTA) has acquired a 9.99% stake in British Airways (BAB)/Iberia (IBE) parent company, the International Airlines Group (IAG).

(QTA) said the move was “part of efforts to enhance operations and strengthen existing commercial ties initiated through code share agreements with the (IAG) as well as its membership of the Oneworld (ONW) Alliance.”

Qatar Airways (QTA) (CEO) Akbar Al Baker said: “The (IAG) represents an excellent opportunity to further develop our Westward strategy. Having joined the Oneworld (ONW) Alliance, it makes sense for us to work more closely together in the near term, and we look forward to forging a long-term relationship.”

The (IAG) concurred it already had a close relationship with (QTA) through the (ONW) Alliance and welcomed (QTA)’s commitment to strengthening existing commercial ties.

(IAG) (CEO), Willie Walsh said the company will “talk to them about what opportunities exist to work more closely together and further (IAG)’s ambitions as the leading global airline group.”

As a non-European Union (EU) shareholder, (QTA) is subject to an overall cap on ownership in the (IAG) as a result of the requirement for (EU) airlines to be majority owned by (EU) shareholders. However, (QTA) said it “may consider increasing its stake further over time, although this is not currently intended to exceed >9.99%.”

News Item A-2: Qatar Airlines (QTA) & the (IAG): "Shifting sands in the global reach of the Gulf carriers" January 30, 2015 by Karen Walker in (ATW) Editor's Blog:

The announcement that (QTA) has acquired a 9.99% stake in (BAB)/(IBE) parent company, the International Airlines Group (IAG) is an interesting development in the ongoing change in the international airline landscape prompted by the growth of the Gulf carriers.

(QTA) (CEO) Akbar Al Baker describes the taking of a stake in the (IAG), worth about $1.7 billion, as an “excellent opportunity to further develop our Westward strategy.” (IAG) (CEO) Willie Walsh said he was “delighted” about the investment, and opportunities to work more closely with (QTA).

There’s an interesting history to the (IAG) and (QTA) connection. Al Baker and Walsh are long-time, firm friends who each hold the other in high respect. In October 2013, (QTA) joined the Oneworld (ONW) global alliance, becoming the first of the major Gulf carriers to join a global alliance. British Airways (BAB), a founding (ONW) member, was (QTA)’s sponsor and Walsh spoke very enthusiastically about the importance of having (QTA) join. My understanding is that his enthusiasm was not matched by every (ONW) member (CEO).

Dubai-based Emirates (EAD), meanwhile, remains alliance-independent, but in 2013 it entered a 5-year alliance with Qantas (QAN), another Oneworld (ONW) Alliance founding member. And Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways (EHD) owns a 29% stake in airberlin (BER), another (ONW) airline. (EHD) has its own version of an alliance, taking stakes in relatively small carriers and creating a constellation of airline equity partners that includes airberlin (BER), Air Serbia (JAT), India’s Jet Airways (JPL), Virgin Australia (VOZ), Air Seychelles (ASY) and Aer Lingus (ARL). Interestingly, the (IAG) wants to buy Aer Lingus (ARL), a move, which if it happens, would further tangle the (IAG)-Oneworld (ONW)-Gulf carrier web.

(EHD), of course, is also now a 49% owner of Alitalia (ALI) (to keep you on track with the alliance matings here, (ALI) is a SkyTeam (STM) Alliance member). But (QTA)’s stake in the (IAG) is the 1st time that 1 of the “Big Three” Gulf carriers has invested in one of the “Big Three” European airline groups of the (IAG), the Lufthansa Group and Air France (AFA) - (KLM).

It will be fascinating to see if the (QTA) - (IAG) deal marks the beginning of more such equity partnerships (within the caps of the (EU) airline ownership rules) between Gulf carriers and their European counterparts. The fact is that it’s becoming increasingly challenging for the “traditional” global hubs of Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Heathrow, and Paris to compete with the “modern” world hubs of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Qatar.

In the USA, meanwhile, there is growing awareness that what happened in Europe regards Gulf competition could happen in America. A campaign is being run by North America’s “Big Three” (American Airlines (AAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL) and United Airlines (UAL)) to try and get lawmakers to review "Open Skies" policies and the international air transport competitive landscape to take account of the rise of the Gulf carriers.

Flying under the radar so far in the shifting sands of air transport power houses is Turkish Airlines (THY), which is a Star (SAL) Alliance carrier and which has developed an extensive network, very large and modern fleet and highly successful global hub in Istanbul. It will be interesting to see whether that continues to be the case if, as Al Baker described it, a “Westward strategy” by Gulf carriers begins, in some eyes at least, to look more like a "Westward" invasion.

News Item A-3: On January 26th, an improved offer from British Airways (BAB) and Iberia (IBE) parent, the International Airlines Group (IAG) to acquire Aer Lingus (ARL) has a much likely chance of acceptance, as follows:

The (IAG) revealed more details of its "Aer Lingus (ARL) plan."

Aer Lingus (ARL) would keep its brand and rejoin the Oneworld (ONW) Alliance if the International Airlines Group (IAG) succeeded in acquiring (ARL).

News of the tentative plans came as (ARL)’s board signaled it is now happy with the (IAG)’s latest bid proposal of €2.55/$2.86 per share. This is significant, because the (IAG) would only be willing to proceed, once this endorsement is in place.

“The [Aer Lingus (ARL)] board has indicated to the (IAG) that the financial terms are at a level at which it would be willing to recommend [to shareholders], subject to being satisfied with the manner in which the (IAG) proposes to address the interests of relevant parties,” Aer Lingus (ARL) said in a stock market disclosure.

With the approval now secured, (ARL) said it has granted the (IAG) access to perform “a limited period of confirmatory due diligence.”

The (IAG) said Aer Lingus (ARL) would operate as a separate business within the (IAG) group, with its own brand, management and operations. It will also continue to provide direct Irish flights and connectivity, supporting local investment and tourism. The (IAG) hopes to secure Irish government support for the deal.

Under its new ownership, Aer Lingus (ARL) would also rejoin the Oneworld (ONW) Alliance, which it left on March 31, 2007, and become a part of the (IAG)’s transatlantic joint venture (JV) with American Airlines (AAL).

The (IAG) plans to tap “natural traffic flows between Ireland and the USA” and Dublin’s strength as a connecting hub. This makes sense, as Dublin has a well-established USA immigration pre-clearance facility.
“The (IAG) believes that the proposal would secure and strengthen Aer Lingus (ARL)'s brand and long term future within a successful and profitable European airline group, offering significant benefits to both (ARL) and its customers,” the (IAG) said in its own disclosure. The plan was “noted” by the Aer Lingus (ARL) board.

British Airways (BAB) and Iberia (IBE) parent, the (IAG) made an initial €2.30 per share takeover approach on December 16, but the Aer Lingus (ARL) board said this undervalued (ARL). On December 29th, it increased its proposal to €2.40 per share, which was again rejected. This latest bid of €2.55 per share was announced on January 26.

The €2.55 per share proposal remains subject to Ryanair (RYR) and the Minister for Finance of Ireland accepting the offer and due diligence.

February 2015: News Item A-1: Iberia (IBE) will resume flights to Cuban capital Havana in June, following a 2-year hiatus, and is also set to add two new long-haul destinations in Colombia.

(IBE), the (IAG)-owned carrier will operate 5x-weekly from Madrid to Havana from June 1st and 3x-weekly, triangular services linking the Spanish capital with Colombian cities Medellin and Cali from July 3rd.

The flights will be operated using Airbus A330s fitted with new interiors and flatbed seats.

Flightglobal's "Innovata" schedules show that (IBE) will compete with Air Europa (ARE), Cubana (CUB) and Evelop Airlines on services to Havana and with Avianca (AVI) on the Madrid - Medellin/Cali routes. Iberia (IBE) already operates to the Colombian capital Bogota.

"The changes made in (IBE) in the past several months allow us not only to return to Cuba, but to operate new flights to new destinations in Latin America, such as Cali and Medellin," said (IBE) (CEO) Luis Gallego.

News Item A-2: Iberia (IBE) Maintenance has completed the overhaul and bench testing of its 1st (V2500). The engine belongs to Vueling (VUZ), and another 7 (V2500)s are undergoing inspection and repair in Iberia (IBE)’s facilities.

News Item A-3: The A350 (MSN2), 1 of Airbus (EDS)’ 5 A350 XWB test airplanes, landed at Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas airport for the 1st time to demonstrate its all new features to Iberia (IBE), the Madrid airport authorities and the media. (IBE) has 8 A350-900s on order as part of its fleet renewal plan. The A350s will be powered by Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent XWB) engines, supported with a TotalCare maintenance package. As of the end of January, Airbus (EDS) said it has received 780 orders from 40 customers for the A350 XWB.

March 2015: News Item A-1: The International Airlines Group (IAG) (parent company of British Airways (BAB), Iberia (IBE) and Vueling (VUZ) reported a 2014 net profit of just over >€1 billion/+$1.1 billion for the year ended December 31, 2014, compared to +€151 million for the previous year. The profit was achieved on revenue of €20.2 billion, up +8% on the previous year.

Capacity in (ASK)s rose +9.3%, with load factor dipping -0.4% to 80.4% (LF.

The increase in capacity extended across all regions, reflecting the full-year impact of low-cost carrier (LCC) Vueling (VUA), the restoration of routes as part of (IBE)’s "Plan de Futuro," and changes to the (BAB) network, including up-gauging related to new fleet and additional flying from more efficient replacement airplanes.

The profit figures show that Iberia (IBE) is no longer dragging down the group’s figures. Until a couple of years ago, (BAB)’s profits were largely, or completely, canceled out by losses at (IBE), the Spanish flag-carrier. However, following a painful restructuring, (IBE) has seemingly turned the corner.

“(IBE) made an operating profit of +€50 million compared to an operating loss of -€166 million last year,” (IAG) (CEO) Willie Walsh said. “(IBE)’s turnaround has been remarkable, both financially and operationally, and we’re very proud of its achievement, especially its strong cost discipline. In 2013, we said our intention was for (IBE) to breakeven in 2014 and it has fulfilled that promise.

“(BAB)’s operating profit increased to +€1,215 million, up from +€762 million last year, which shows significant progress towards its long term targets. Vueling (VUZ) made an operating profit of +€141 million, compared to an operating profit of +€139 million in 2013, with the airline focusing on flexible growth.

“We achieved a strong unit cost performance, down -4.1%, through increased productivity, supplier cost savings and lower fuel unit costs. The latter was boosted by the introduction of more efficient airplanes into our fleet and lower fuel prices in the last quarter of the year. “However, the positive effect of the oil price reduction has been partly offset by hedging and significant currency impact,” Walsh said.

News Item A-2: Iberia (IBE) said it has reached an agreement with Airbus (EDS) for the early delivery of 8 A330-200s ordered last year. The A330-200s, which were converted options, will now join the long-haul fleet between December 2015 and November 2016, 14 months earlier than initially planned. They will replace (IBE)’s A340-300s.

“The earlier delivery dates also speed the upgrading of (IBE)'s entire long-haul fleet with the new cabins, fittings, and entertainment plus communications systems, for an improved customer experience,” it said.

(IBE) is currently renewing its long-haul fleet and also its long-haul cabins. In recent years, (IBE) parent, the International Airlines Group (IAG) has ordered 24 new long-haul airplanes for (IBE) (8 A330-300s delivered in 2013 and 2014, 8 A330-200s; and 8 A350-900s to be delivered later).

Meanwhile, the company is refitting its 17 A340-600s with the new long-haul cabins and equipment, including new seats that turn into flat beds in business (C) class, roomier seating in economy (Y) class, and on-demand entertainment via touch screens for all passengers. It also includes Wi-Fi and (GSM) connectivity, plus many other innovations and enhancements.

Currently, about 80% of (IBE)’s long-haul fleet features the new interiors and other features.

News Item A-3: Iberia (IBE) will resume flights between Spain and Havana, Cuba, this summer. (IBE) also announced the launch of a new route from Madrid to the Colombian cities of Cali and Medellin. On both routes, (IBE) will use its new A330s equipped with new interiors.

News Item A-4: Iberia Express begins 4x-weekly, London Heathrow - Las Palmas and 3x-weekly, to - Tenerife in the Canary Islands, and daily, - Majorca service beginning summer.

News Item A-5: Air Lease Corporation (ALE) announced the delivery of 1 Airbus A321-200 (2270) to Iberia (IBE).

April 2015: News Item A-1: The International Airlines Group (IAG) (parent company of British Airways (BAB), Iberia (IBE), and Vueling (VUZ)) has reported a first-quarter net loss of -€26 million/-$29.1 million, narrowed from a -€184 million loss for the year-ago period. Operating profit was +€25 million, reversed from a loss of -€150 million a year ago, giving the Group its first-ever operating profit in the traditionally weak months after Christmas and New Year.

Separating out the 3 carriers’ individual operating profit figures, British Airways (BAB) posted a profit of +€117 million compared to a -€5 million loss last time; Iberia lost -€55 million, half of (1Q) 2014’s figure of -€111 million; while Vueling (VUZ)’s loss was -€29 million, barely changed from the -€30 million loss a year ago.

Group revenue was up +12% at slightly over €4.7 billion, compared to €4.2 billion a year ago, while costs climbed +7.6% to €4.68 billion, up from €4.35 billion.

Passenger revenue jumped +12.3% to €4.11 billion. Cargo revenue dipped -1.6% to €246 million. Other revenue sources saw a +19.4% rise to €345 million.

Capacity grew +5% to 59.1 billion (ASK)s, but this was outstripped by (RPK)s, which rose +6.2% to 45.9 billion in the first quarter. Load factor rose +1% to 77.7% LF.

“There was a strong improvement both at a Group level and with all three airlines,” (IAG) (CEO) Willie Walsh said.

“At constant currency, revenue was up +3.7%, with passenger unit revenue down -0.8%. In particular, there was a consistent positive performance in our key North American market. “We achieved a strong unit cost performance with non-fuel unit costs down -2.7% and fuel unit costs down -11%, at constant currency. As before, fuel costs benefitted by operating more efficient airplanes and lower fuel prices though hedging and significant currency headwinds reduced the positive impact of lower oil prices.

“Cost discipline across our airlines continued through increased productivity and supplier cost savings, enabling us to improve our operating margin while growing capacity by +5%.”

The improvement in the group’s performance (for several years, (BAB)’s profits were negated by heavy losses at Iberia (IBE)) has made it a much more attractive proposition for investors. This was evidenced by Qatar Airways (QTA) taking of a 9.99% stake late last year. (QTA) carrier has said it would like to increase its stake in the future.

The UK-Spanish group said that it anticipates a whole-year operating profit “in excess of >+€2.2 billion,” although it cautioned that profit growth would slow in the 2nd quarter due the combination of the timing of Easter this year (always a busy time for carrying leisure passengers) and an adverse year-on-year fuel price in this quarter (net of fuel and currency hedging).

News Item A-2: Iberia (IBE) has won 17 licenses for supplying handling services to Spanish airports out of the 20 bids submitted. (IBE)’s handling unit, Iberia Airport Services, has won licenses for third-party ramp services in Madrid, Barcelona, Majorca, Malaga, Alicante, Asturias, Bilbao, Girona, Minorca, Reus, Santiago de Compostela, both airports in Tenerife, Ibiza, Gran Canaria, as well as two of three lots of smaller airports including the airports in La Coruña, Leon, Pamplona, Santander, San Sebastian, Vigo, Vitoria, Albacete, Badajoz, Cordoba, Granada, Jerez, La Palma, and Melilla.

News Item A-3: The European Low Fares Airline Association (ELFAA) has accepted the International Airlines Group (IAG) carriers British Airways (BAB), Iberia (IBE) and Iberia Express as members, effective immediately. Barcelona-based budget carrier Vueling (VUZ), which is also an (IAG) airline, is already a member of the (ELFAA).

The (IAG) airlines resigned from the Association of European Airlines (AEA) in mid-April over differences regarding the (AEA)’s support for plans to investigate suspected state subsidies to Gulf carriers and, if necessary, limit their access to the European market.

Qatar Airways (QTA) currently has 10% ownership in the (IAG) and has said it would like to increase that stake.

(ELFAA) Secretary General, John Hanlon said: “This cements (ELFAA)’s position as the largest European airline group for passengers within Europe. Our new members will further strengthen our credentials as the major stakeholder group on European legislative and regulatory matters. They will add more weight to our voice on behalf of European consumers, who have benefited so greatly from the European Union (EU)’s liberalization of air transport.”

(ELFAA) now has 12 airline members: British Airways (BAB), EasyJet (EZY), Flybe (BEE), Iberia (IBE), Iberia Express, Jet2.com (JT2), Norwegian (NWG), Ryanair (RYR), Transavia (TAV), Volotea (VLZ), Vueling (VUZ), and Wizz Air (WZZ). Between them, they carry some 300 million passengers a year.

News Item A-4: Virgin Atlantic (VAA) has expressed concerns that the proposed takeover of Aer Lingus (ARL) by the International Airlines Group (IAG), parent company of Iberia (IBE), Vueling (VUZ) and British Airways (BAB), will diminish competition.

News Item A-5: See video "IBE-Visit Barcelona (very quickly)" - -

May 2015: News Item A-1: Iberia (IBE) has added its 10th French destination spoke to its Madrid (MAD) hub, starting 2x-weekly (Wednesdays and Sundays) flights to Perpignan (PGF). The CRJ 200-operated service joins existing French network points of Paris Orly, Nice, Nantes, Lyon, Lourdes, Bordeaux, Strasbourg, Toulouse, and Marseille served from (IBE)’s base. Services began on May 6th and will face no direct competition on the 589 km sector.

News Item A-2: The International Airlines Group (IAG) will make a €1.4 billion/$1.5 billion formal takeover bid for Aer Lingus (ARL), after winning crucial backing from the government of Ireland and (ARL)’s board.

The (IAG) has been courting (ARL) since last December, culminating in a third takeover proposal of €2.55/$2.78 per share in January. Unlike the two earlier approaches, this received a favorable response from (ARL), but was conditional on the (IAG) securing support from (ARL)’s two key shareholders: the government of Ireland and (RYR).

Late May 26th, the (IAG) announced it had agreed “the terms of a recommended cash offer” with both the Irish government and (ARL) by signing a transaction agreement which “contains certain assurances” for the future of (ARL).

The (IAG) has given “cast-iron guarantees” on (ARL)’s London Heathrow (LHR) slots, protected by a single "B" share which will be held by the Irish government. Aer Lingus (ARL) will maintain its current seasonal frequencies to Dublin, Cork, and Shannon for at least seven years and its other Heathrow - Ireland links for at least five years. (ARL) will now convene an (AGM) to approve the connectivity resolutions.

“The independent (ARL) Directors intend unanimously to recommend that (ARL) shareholders accept the offer,” the (IAG) said. “The government of Ireland has stated that it supports the offer and the Minister for Finance of Ireland has confirmed that the general principles of the disposal of his shares in (ARL) will be laid before Dáil Éireann [the lower house of the Irish Parliament] for approval.”

Just a few hours earlier, (RYR) said it was waiting on a formal approach from the (IAG), adding that it would consider any deal on its merits. The offer document will be sent to shareholders within 28 days. To succeed, the offer must be backed by at least 90% of (ARL) shareholders, which means that Ryanair (RYR)’s buy-in will be pivotal. It will also require competition clearance from the European Commission (EC).

Both (IAG) (CEO), Willie Walsh and (ARL) Chairman, Colm Barrington described the deal as “compelling,” adding that it will provide stronger transatlantic and regional connectivity for both (ARL) and the (IAG). “The company [(ARL)] will reap the commercial and strategic benefits of being part of the much larger and globally diverse (IAG) Group,” Barrington said.

Willie Walsh confirmed the "Aer Lingus" brand and its Irish head office will be retained. The (IAG) plans to develop Dublin as a transatlantic hub and Aer Lingus (ARL) will re-join the oneworld (ONW) alliance under its new ownership.

“(ARL) would add a fourth competitive, cost effective airline to the (IAG), enabling us to develop our network using Dublin as a hub between the UK, continental Europe and North America, generating additional financial value for our shareholders,” Walsh said.

The offer for 100% of (ARL) will be made by (AERL) Holding, a wholly owned (IAG) subsidiary, which has been created for the takeover. The directors of (AERL) Holding are Walsh, (IAG) (CFO), Enrique Dupuy and (IAG) General Counsel, Chris Haynes. (AERL) Holding plans to delist (ARL) from the Irish and London stock exchanges and re-register it as a private company.

The (IAG) operates a combined fleet of 459 airplanes, handling over >77 million passengers and 897,000 tonnes of cargo across its 3 carriers, British Airways (BAB), Iberia (IBE) and Vueling (VUZ). Iberia (IBE) will add a fleet of 48 Airbus airplanes and three Boeing 757s to the group. Together with its regional franchise operation, (ARL) carried over >11.1 million passengers in 2014, generating a €1.6 billion turnover.

A319-111 (0998, EC-MFP), EX-(F-GRHC), (SASOF) AVIATION LSD 2015-05.

June 2015: News Item A-1: Iberia (IBE) commenced 3 new routes in late June. The 597 km route from Alicante (ALC) to Carcassonne (CCF) started on June 20, and will be flown weekly (Saturdays) by Iberia Regional’s ATR 72s until August 24. Also flown by the 72-seat turboprop is the weekly (Sundays) Ibiza (IBZ) to Perpignan (PGF) service, which began on June 28 and is scheduled for seasonal closure on August 31. Neither of these routes will face any direct competition. Finally, on June 23, the 1,452 km sector from Madrid (MAD) to Palermo (PMO) commenced. Flown by Iberia Regional’s 50-seat CRJ 200s until September 8, the city pair is already operated by Ryanair (RYR) on a 3x-weekly basis.

News Item A-2: Iberia (IBE) has announced that in coming weeks, it will begin hiring to fill 120 pilot positions, after 11 years without accepting applications. The new pilots (FC) will join Iberia (IBE) over the next 2 years, starting this summer, according to a company statement.

“Agreements between (IBE) and the pilots (FC) union (SEPLA) signed in February 2014 brought improvements in cockpit costs and productivity, while changing entry-level conditions for new pilots (FC), aligning them with those of other airlines. New pilots (FC) will replace those retiring, and enable the company to meet current and future needs,” Iberia (IBE) said.

The additional cockpit staff will also allow Iberia (IBE) to promote 100 senior co-pilots (FC) to captain within a year, it said.

Iberia (IBE)’s Chairman & (CEO), Luis Gallego said “The hiring of new pilots (FC) is a another milestone for the new Iberia (FC), in keeping with all the good news of recent months, such as our new routes, new airplanes, leadership in flight punctuality, and the operating profit following six years of losses. This all stemmed from the agreements with employee unions, and our Future Plan, which involves all company areas.”

July 2015: News Item A-1: The International Airlines Group (IAG), parent of British Airways (BAB), Iberia (IBE), and Vueling (VUZ), reported a net profit of +€358 million/+$397 million for the 2nd quarter ended June 30, up +27.9% on the same period last year.

Revenue for the period was up +11.2% to £5.7 billion, while operating costs were up 8.9% to £5.1 billion, resulting in an operating profit of +€530 million, up +39.5% on the year-ago quarter.

For the second quarter, (BAB) improved its operating profit to +€453 million, up +36% year-on-year; (IBE) more than tripled its operating profit to +€51 million; (VUZ)’s operating profit declined -20% to €24 million year-on-year due to a +13.9% capacity increase.

The group’s second-quarter passenger numbers were up +8.7% year-on-year to 22 million, with seat factor stable at 80.7% LF. (ASK)s and (RPK)s both increased +5.5%, to 68.1 billion and 55 billion, respectively.

“We said previously that profit improvement would be slower in the second quarter and we are on track to reach our full year targets,” (IAG) (CEO) Willie Walsh said. “We continue to take cost out of the business, with both employee and supplier unit costs down at constant currency, and improvements in productivity levels. In the half year, we made an operating profit of +€555 million, which is up from a +€230 million operating profit last year.”

Looking forward, the (IAG) said, “At current fuel prices and exchange rates our outlook remains unchanged. (IAG) expects in 2015 to generate an operating profit in excess of >+€2.2 billion.”

News Item A-2: The International Airlines Group (IAG) plans to convert up to 5 Airbus A330-200 and 8 A350-900 options into orders for Iberia (IBE) as well as open new long-haul routes.

In August 2014, (IAG) ordered 8 A330-200s, to be delivered this year and next, along with 8 A350-900s for delivery from 2018 - 2020.

(IBE) hopes to open new long-haul routes in 2016 and 2017, which will include new territories such as a return to Japan or Qatar. Possible destinations include Tokyo, Doha (Qatar), Johannesburg, Toronto, Guadalajara, Managua, San Juan de Puerto Rico, Brasilia, and Asunción. The new destinations will be announced before the end of the year, following profitability studies.

In this year’s second quarter, (IBE) more than tripled its operating profit to +€51 million/+$57 million. “This announcement is a confirmation of our commitment to global growth, though always under the premise that sustained profitability is the key criteria,” (IBE) Executive Chairman, Luis Gallego said.

Since April 2014, when (IBE) launched its Plan de Futuro cost-cutting plan and reached new agreements with labor unions, (IBE) has launched 30 new routes to 22 new destinations. It currently serves 119 destinations in 43 countries with a fleet of almost 130 aircraft.

Last year, (IBE) posted its 1st operating profit in 6 years.

August 2015: News Item A-1: Iberia (IBE) is considering establishing an alliance to operate in the Europe - Latin American market, (IBE) Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Luis Gallego Martin has revealed.

Speaking to "Airline Business," Gallego said the (IAG) subsidiary is looking to replicate the trans-Atlantic joint venture (JV) which sees fellow Oneworld (ONW) alliance members Finnair (FIN), American Airlines (AAL), British Airways (BAB), and (IBE) cooperate on flights between Europe and North America.

While Gallego did not specify which other airline (IBE) is considering for potential membership in the (JV), Spain's "Preferente" tourism paper has flagged (LAN) Airlines and TAM Linhas Aéreas (TPR) parent, (LATAM), as a strong contender. The South American operators are both Oneworld (ONW) Alliance members and already have code share agreements in place with (IBE).

(IBE) currently serves Bogotá, Buenos Aires Ezeiza, Cali, Caracas Simón Bolivar, Guayaquil, Lima International, Medellín José Maria Córdova, Montevideo, Quito International, Rio de Janeiro International, Santiago de Chile International, and São Paulo Guarulhos.

Since resuming a number of abandoned South American routes (which will include Santo Domingo Las Américas, Asuncion, and Havana International) (IBE) has seen its Europe - Latin American market share climb to 22.9% as compared to 20% of rival Air France (AFA) - (KLM) Royal Dutch Airlines, which has suffered heavily at the hands of a struggling Brazilian economy.

As such, (IBE) intends to use the (ONW) alliance to enhance profitability on routes where it is already dominant, while consolidating its position in the face of competition from the Franco Dutch carrier group, as well as Air Europa (ARE) to a lesser extent.

News Item A-2: Finnair (FIN) Cargo and the International Airlines Group (IAG) have signed an agreement to link their respective cargo networks through a new connecting service.

The Finnish carrier (FIN) Cargo is starting a 2x-weekly service between Helsinki and London, with the aim of connecting (FIN)’s extensive connections to Asia with (IAG)’s destinations in the Americas. (IAG)’s component airlines, British Airways (BAB) and Iberia (IBE), have major route networks in North and South America, respectively.

The new Helsinki - London service will be operated by a (DHL) A300-600F freighter under contract to Finnair (FIN). The A300-600F has a 43-tonne freight capacity.

Finnair (FIN) Cargo describes the new link as an important strategic move, creating a third cargo hub to join those in Helsinki and Brussels. “This partnership with (IAG) Cargo offers our customers considerably improved connections between Asia and the UK, and adds tens of new connections between our Nordic home market, North America and Asia,” Finnair Cargo Head, Antti Kuusenmäki said.

“This deal will open up new markets for our customers while supporting the responsible management of capacity on our network,” (IAG) Cargo (CEO), Steve Gunning added.

European cargo airlines have been under pressure in recent years, partly due to the expansion of the Gulf “Big Three” airlines (Emirates (EAD), Etihad Airways (EHD), and Qatar Airways (QTA) into the continent, notably with the considerable belly-hold capacity of their Boeing 777s.

News Item A-3: The International Airlines Group (IAG) (parent of British Airways (BAB), Iberia (IBE), and Vueling (VUZ)) has converted options for 20 A320neos into firm orders.

The airplanes will be delivered between 2020 and 2021 and can be used by any airline in the group for fleet replacement. The options were originally placed in August 2013.

The (IAG) has also confirmed that it is converting 8 A350-900 and 3 A330-200 long-haul aircraft options into firm orders for Iberia (IBE). These aircraft will be delivered between 2016 and 2021 and will enable (IBE) to replace and expand its existing long-haul fleet.

The A320neo list price, as at January 2012, was approximately $92 million; the A330-200, $185 million; and the A350-900, $285 million, but the (IAG) said it had negotiated “a substantial discount from the list price.” It said it had “a range of financing options and will choose the most appropriate source closer to the delivery time.” The (IAG) expects, in the long term, that its assets will have at least a 12% return on invested capital.

News Item A-4: The International Airlines Group (IAG) has selected Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent XWB) engines for 8 Airbus A350-900 airplanes that will be operated by Iberia (IBE).

The aircraft are in addition to 8 (Trent XWB)-powered A350-900s ordered by (IAG) for (IBE) in August last year.

(IBE) already operates a fleet of 17 (Trent 500) powered A340-600s.

(RRC) said that more than >1,500 (Trent XWB) engines have been sold to 40 customers.

September 2015: News Item A-1: Iberia Express, the Iberia Group’s low-cost carrier (LCC), started daily flights to Paris (CDG) from Madrid (MAD) on September 7th. Operated by (IBE)’s 180-seat A320s, the 1,061 km route will face competition from 3 carriers, with Air France (AFA) (42x-weekly), easyJet (EZY) (16) and Vueling (VUZ) (11) already serving the airport pair. The new flight complements Iberia (IBE)’s existing operations at Paris Orly, where it offers on average 6 daily flights. The Iberia Group of airlines currently flies 346 weekly frequencies between Spain and France (operated from Paris, Bordeaux, Strasbourg, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Nice, Perpignan, and Toulouse in France and the Spanish cities of Madrid, A Coruña, Santander, Seville, and Tenerife South.

Iberia Express launched its flights from Madrid (MAD) to Manchester (MAN) on September 8. The low-cost carrier (LCC) will operate its 180-seat A320s on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays until the end of October. Throughout the winter season, Iberia (IBE) will offer 2x-weekly services between both cities, on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The Iberia Group currently operates 176 weekly flights from the UK airports of London Heathrow, London Gatwick, London Luton, Edinburgh, and Manchester to Madrid, Gran Canaria, Palma de Mallorca, Tenerife North, and Vigo. Competition on the 1,432 km rotation comes in the shape of Ryanair (RYR), which operates a 5x-weekly service.

News Item A-2: Technology specialist (WIN) is expanding its e-booking system to connect independent forwarders to 16 airlines. (WIN) already connects to over 90 airlines for electronic Air Waybill (e-AWB). The carriers available for e-bookings include British Airways (BAB), Iberia (IBE), Etihad Airways (EHD), (SAS), Singapore Airlines (SIA), Jet Airways (JPL), Swiss (CSR), American Airlines (AAL), Air France (AFA), Finnair (FIN), Korean Air (KAL), (KLM), Lufthansa (DLH), United Airlines (UAL), Emirates (EAD), and Gulf Air (GUL). The all-in-one tool includes the ability for customers to look up flight schedules, create and manage bookings in real-time, transmit (e-AWB) data, and receive full (e-AWB) tracking automatically.

October 2015: News Item A-1: The International Airlines Group (parent company of British Airways (BAB), Iberia (IBE), Vueling (VUZ) and Aer Lingus (ARL)) reported a 3rd-quarter net profit of +€883 million/+$992.8 million, up +39.3% compared to a net profit of +€634 million for the same period last year. The figures do not include exceptional charges of €38 million related to (IAG)’s acquisition of Aer Lingus (ARL).

The profit figures were reached on total revenue of €6.76 billion, up +15.2% on the year-ago figure of €5.87 billion.

The 3rd quarter’s results were the 1st to include a contribution from Aer Lingus (ARL), which the (IAG) acquired in August.

Operating profits for the quarter to September 30 climbed to €1.25 billion, an improvement from last year of €350 million, including Aer Lingus (ARL) and €305 million better, excluding (ARL).

Breaking down the group’s operating profits by individual airline, (BAB) recorded a figure of £589 million compared to £484 million for the same period last year; (IBE) made a profit of +€200 million, up from +€162 million, and (VUZ) showed a positive figure of +€178 million (2014: +€140 million). (ARL)’s operating profit was +€45 million from August 18, the date of acquisition.

The (IAG) expects to generate an operating profit for the full year of +€2.25 to +€2.3 billion, excluding (ARL). This figure is marginally up on previous guidance. “We’re reporting strong quarter results with a positive contribution from all of our airlines,” commented (IAG) (CEO), Willie Walsh.

“Our passenger unit revenue showed a better trend than in the 2nd quarter of the year and our cost performance remained strong,” Walsh said. “Aer Lingus (ARL) made an operating profit of +€45 million since it joined the (IAG) on August 18. While (ARL)’s profitability is seasonal, (ARL) is cost-effective and provides a natural gateway to build our business between Europe and North America. It’s a great asset for the group.”

He added that the (IAG) would make its first dividend payment (of 10 euro cents per share). “For the full year, we expect to pay out 25% of our underlying profit after tax in dividends, and plan to announce a proposal for a final dividend for 2015, when the full-year results are published.”

Both the (IAG)’s revenue and cost figures have been favorably affected by the strength of the USA dollar and sterling, 2 of the most significant currencies in its operations.

Walsh noted (IBE)’s figures are expected to improve further as the Spanish carrier’s transformation process continues. Changes to its management structure means it is now much more nimble in taking advantage of rapidly changing tactical situations in the marketplace.

Growth in the quarter had come from all parts of the group; Iberia (IBE), for example, had restored some previously ditched routes, such as Madrid - Havana, and opened new ones, such as Madrid - Cali, while (BAB) opened up London Heathrow - Kuala Lumpur.

News Item A-2: Iberia Group low-cost carrier (LCC) Iberia Express will install wireless in-flight entertainment (IFE) system "Immfly" across its entire fleet.

“After running successful tests this summer in 8 aircraft, (IBE) has committed to improving the passenger experience by introducing Immfly onto all aircraft in the coming months,” Iberia Express said.

Passengers access Immfly on their personal devices, via onboard Wi-Fi, removing the need for seat-back screens. It is available in English, Spanish and German and includes over >100 forms of sponsored entertainment, such as TV shows, newspapers and travel guides for over >150 European cities.

During the trial, over >100,000 passengers used the app in-flight, connecting for an average of 40 minutes.

Barcelona-based Immfly, which is led by Immfly Managing Director, Gabriel Puig, was founded in 2013 with the support of over >50 partners, including Atresmedia Television, the (BBC), Bloomberg News, Vodafone, EsMadrid, Financial Times, Euronews, and Tripadvisor.

Immfly claims that fewer than <5% of short- and mid-haul aircraft are currently equipped with (IFE) and connectivity systems. “Immfly has its eyes firmly set on 2018, when they vision to have 1,000 aircraft operating the system and 200 million passengers flying with Immfly,” it said.

November 2015: News Item A-1: "Vueling (VUZ) (CEO) Named Next British Airways (BAB) Chief."

The International Airlines Group (IAG) has named Vueling (VUZ) (CEO), Alex Cruz as the next Chairman and (CEO) of British Airways (BAB), succeeding Keith Williams who will retire April 2016. Vueling (VUZ) is an airline member of the (IAG).

News Item A-2: The "The (IAG) Converts Options on 4 Airbus A330s, 15 A320neos" by (ATW) Victoria Moores, November 5, 2015.

The International Airlines Group (IAG) has converted options on 2 Airbus A330-300s for Aer Lingus (ARL), 2 A330-200s for Iberia (IBE) and 15 A320neos for use across the group.

Announcing the deal November 5, the (IAG) said it had negotiated “a substantial discount” from the list price. “The modern, fuel efficient aircraft will bring both cost efficiencies and environmental benefits to the airlines,” the (IAG) said.

(ARL) will receive its 2 A330-200s in 2016 and the 2 A330-300s will be delivered to (IBE) between 2017 and 2018. The A330s, which finalize options from the (IAG)’s September 2014 order, will be used to expand the 2 airlines’ long-haul fleets.

The A320neo options have been firmed up from an order originally placed in August 2013. “These aircraft will be delivered between 2018 and 2021 and can be used by any airline in the Group for fleet replacement,” (IAG) said.

January 2016: News Item A-1: "(LATAM) Seeks Antitrust-immunized Joint Ventures (JV)s with American (AAL) and the (IAG)" by (ATW) Aaron Karp, January 14, 2016.

The (LATAM) Airlines Group is seeking to form separate joint ventures (JVs) with American Airlines (AAL) and the International Airlines Group (IAG) for travel between North and South America, and between South America and Europe, respectively.

(AAL) and (LATAM), parent to Brazil’s (TAM) (TPR) and Chile’s (LAN) Airlines (as well as affiliated carriers throughout South America), said they will apply for antitrust immunity (ATI) with the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) and the relevant regulatory authorities in South America. Similarly, (LATAM) and the (IAG), the parent of British Airways (BAB) and Iberia (IBE), said they have signed “a joint business agreement” for the operation of “flights between Europe and South America.”

(LAN), (TAM), (AAL), (BAB) and (IBE) are all members of the Oneworld (ONW) alliance. (AAL), (BAB), (IBE) and Finnair (FIN) already operate an antitrust-immunized transatlantic (JV).

The (IAG) said in a statement that (LATAM), (BAB) and (IBE) “plan to seek approval from the appropriate competition authorities in South America and will inform the regulatory authorities in the European Union (EU),” adding, “Under the joint business, (BAB), (IBE) and the (LATAM) Airlines Group would cooperate commercially on flights between the European Union (EU) and South America. They would expand their code share arrangements on flights between and within Europe and South America, significantly increasing the number of destinations that the airlines can offer customers.”

(IAG) (CEO), Willie Walsh hinted at a potential (IAG)-(LATAM) (JV) in December, telling the Aviation Club of the UK that the (IAG) “would like to have closer ties to” (LATAM).

(LATAM) (CEO), Enrique Cueto called the potential (JV)s with (AAL) and the (IAG) “excellent news for Latin America,” adding, “Through these two agreements, we seek to significantly improve the benefits to our clients by providing them with greater connectivity between South America and the USA/Canada and also between South America and Europe. This step is necessary to offer the best network of connections for everyone in Latin America and increases the possibility of adding new routes and direct flights to new destinations, as well as flights already operated by (LATAM) and affiliates in the future.”

(AAL) Chairman & (CEO), Doug Parker said, “Customers will benefit from more frequent and convenient schedule options than the carriers could offer individually. Travelers headed to Latin America will soon have more seamless access to more than >100 additional destinations with (LATAM) beyond (AAL)’s already extensive network.”

Walsh added, “We already have a close commercial relationship with the (LATAM) Airlines Group as part of the Oneworld (ONW) Alliance and we look forward to enhancing the relationship further. This joint business would benefit customers by providing them with easier journeys to more destinations with better aligned schedules and increased frequencies. This would boost both tourism and business travel between South America and Europe.”

(LATAM) emphasized that it, (AAL) and the (IAG) “will continue to operate independently and maintain control of their respective operations,” adding, “These agreements will not cause any changes to the ownership or administration of the airlines.”

News Item A-2: "Iberia (IBE) Launches New Airbus A330 Variant" by (ATW) Alan Dron, January 4, 2016.

Iberia (IBE) has become the 1st airline to take delivery of the Airbus A330-200 with an increased maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 242 tonnes. The 11,500 km range aircraft is particularly suitable for Iberia (IBE)’s longest routes, such as those to Buenos Aires and Montevideo.

In May 2015, USA major, Delta (DAL) was the launch carrier for the 242-tonne (MTOW) version of the larger A330-300.

(IBE) plans to take 13 examples of the new A330-200 into its fleet over the next 3 years. The aircraft will have a 2-class configuration, featuring 19C business and 269Y economy class seats.

The aircraft will feature new ‘Business Plus’ C+ seats giving direct aisle access and unfolding into two-meter-long, lie-flat beds. Seats in the economy (Y) class cabin are more ergonomic and roomier than their predecessors, (IBE) said.

The fleet will also be equipped with a faster Wi-Fi system, allowing passengers to go online, while a special portal will allow them to connect to the internet with their own phones, tablets, or laptops. The portal has its own news channel and also supplies information about the flight, as well as (IBE).

(IBE)’s pending order list also includes 16 A350-900s.

February 2016: News Item A-1: The International Airlines Group (IAG) (parent company of Aer Lingus (ARL), British Airways (BAB), Iberia (IBE), and Vueling (VUZ)) reported a +51.5% rise in 2015 net profit to +€1.52 billion/+$1.66 billion, compared to +€1 billion in 2014. Full-year revenue was up +13.3% at €22.8 billion compared to €20.1 billion last time.

In capacity, (ASK)s rose +8.2% to 272.7 billion (of which +3.2% came from the inclusion of the Aer Lingus (ARL) fleet) and load factor rose +1% to 81.4% LF, while (RASK)s rose +5.4% to 7.46 euro cents. Passenger numbers were up +14.2% at 88.3 million compared to 77.3 million last time.

Fuel costs for the year before exceptional items dropped -6.3%, while non-fuel costs before exceptional items were up +4.3%.

“We’re reporting very strong full year results,” (IAG) (CEO), Willie Walsh said. “These results are in line with our recent target and have exceeded our original 2015 operating profit target of +€1.5 billion that we set in 2011. “It’s undoubtedly been a good year, but it’s also been challenging, with extreme volatility in the currency and fuel markets. The benefits we gained from lower fuel prices have been partially offset by the stronger USA dollar.”

(IAG) completed the acquisition of (ARL) over the summer and Walsh (a former (ARL) (CEO)) said the Irish flag carrier had made a positive contribution of +€35 million since it formally joined the group on August 18, 2015.

(IAG) said that Iberia (IBE), which for the early years of the consortium was a notable drag on the group, had made “significant progress on its “Plan de Futuro,” improving its cost base and recovering routes previously withdrawn. The turnaround of (IBE) is leading to a profitable and efficient new airline capable of growing in its strategic markets and starting to achieve positive returns for the Group, with a positive after-tax profit of +€155 million.”

In 2016, the (IAG) anticipates it will generate an absolute operating profit increase similar to that in 2015, when it leapt +68% before exceptional items. Revenue trends for (1Q) 2016 “appear broadly in line with those experienced in quarter four 2015.”

News Item A-2: Iberia (IBE) begins 3x-weekly, Madrid - Tokyo (NRT) services October 18 and 3x-weekly – Shanghai winter services. These will be operated with A330-200s.

March 2016: Iberia (IBE) is preparing new job cuts to reduce costs after completing the current redundancy program, its Chairman, Luis Gallego said.

Iberia had already reached a deal with unions in 2014 to cut up to -1,427 jobs until the end of 2017. Gallego said there was room for -462 more job losses in the current voluntary redundancy program, which he hoped to complete this year.

After that, (IBE) will seek a new agreement with the unions for additional voluntary job losses for older employees close to retirement, Gallego said at an event organised by the European Aviation Club in Brussels. "We still have an excess of people in some units", he said, but did not give any figures.

As of December 2015, Iberia (ibe) employed 16,564 people.

(IBE), which is owned by the International Airlines Group (IAG), has undergone a major restructuring since its 2011 merger with British Airways (BAB), cutting jobs and salaries.

April 2016: News Item A-1: The International Airlines Group (IAG), parent company of British Airways (BAB), Iberia (IBE), Vueling (VUZ) and Aer Lingus (ARL) posted a 1st-quarter net profit of +€104 million/+$118 million, reversed from a net loss of -€26 million a year ago. The result was achieved on revenue of just >€5 billion, compared to >€4.7 billion for the year-ago period.

The January to March 1st quarter, incorporating the post-festive season dip, is traditionally the weakest period of the financial year.

Capacity measured by (ASK)s jumped +11.9% to 66.2 billion, although this includes the addition of Aer Lingus (ARL), which the (IAG) acquired last fall. Stripping out the (ARL) component, capacity was up +4.8%, slightly skewed by the extra day in February.

(RPK)s more than kept pace, rising +13.8% to 52.2 billion. Load factor rose +1.2 points to 78.9% LF.

“This is a good performance, with a strong increase in what is traditionally the weakest quarter,” (IAG) (CEO), Willie Walsh said. “Total revenue was up +7.9% and total cost per (ASK) decreased -6.1%.

“January and February’s revenue was in line with (Q4) 2015 trends. March revenue was affected by the timing of Easter and the Brussels terrorist attacks, with the latter continuing into (2Q).

“Our productivity has improved +5.9% and the underlying non-fuel unit costs performance continued to show improvement across our companies.”

The aftershocks of the Brussels attack, together with what Walsh described as “some softness in underlying premium demand” has led the (IAG) to trim its short-term capacity growth plans.

For the full year, the (IAG) expects to cut underlying ex-fuel costs by -1%. “Consequently, in 2016, the (IAG) still expects to generate an absolute operating profit increase similar to 2015.”

The (1Q) saw the continuing benefit from low fuel prices (-14.3% lower than (1Q) 2015), partially offset by the headwind of a stronger dollar vis-à-vis both the euro and the pound, creating some €62 million of adverse foreign exchange transaction costs.

Cargo revenue for the period decreased -1.5%, or -5.9%, excluding Aer Lingus (ARL). The cargo premium mix remained strong, the (IAG) said, but overall market conditions were weaker than last year, which benefited from a USA port strike.

Other revenue rose +15.1% from an increase in activity at "(BA) Holidays" and in Iberia (IBE)’s 3rd-party maintenance.

August 2016: Iberia (IBE) will start 3x-weekly operations from Madrid to Tokyo on October 18.

A330-202 (1740, EC-MLP "Lima"), ex-(F-WWYM), delivery.

October 2015: Spanish flag carrier Iberia (IBE) has formally joined the Europe - Japan joint venture (JV) with Oneworld (ONW) alliance members British Airways (BAB), Finnair (FIN), and Japan Airlines (JAL).

On October 18, (IBE) joined the venture with 3x-weekly nonstop services between Madrid and Tokyo Narita, marking its return to Japan.

(IBE) secured Japanese anti-trust immunity in August, enabling it to participate in the revenue, scheduling and pricing partnership.

The airlines said customers will be able to book, check-in and “mix and match” flights across all 4 carriers, with greater connectivity in the event of disruption.

(BAB) and (JAL) started the partnership in 2012 and Finnair (FIN) joined in 2014. With Iberia (IBE)’s membership, the network covers over >200 destinations in Europe and 59 in Japan.

Madrid is the 5th gateway for the partners, joining Helsinki, London Heathrow (LHR), Tokyo Haneda (HND), and Tokyo Narita (NRT).

Currently, (BAB) operates a 2x-daily service from (LHR) to (HND) and (NRT), while (FIN) flies from Helsinki to Fukuoka, Nagoya, Narita and Osaka.

From the Japanese side, (JAL) operates daily services from Narita and Haneda airports to Paris, from Haneda to London, and from Narita to Frankfurt and Helsinki.

November 2016: "(IAG) Signs Up for Next-gen Wi-Fi" by (ATW) Alan Dron alandron@adepteditorial.com, November 3, 2016.

The International Airlines Group (IAG) is to introduce high-speed Wi-Fi across its constituent carriers’ short-haul fleets, as it becomes the launch customer for Inmarsat’s next-generation connectivity system.

The (IAG) (comprising Aer Lingus (ARL), British Airways (BAB), Iberia (IBE) and Vueling (VUZ)) will equip up to 341 of its short-haul aircraft with the necessary equipment to provide a 4G broadband network. They include 132 (BAB), 125 (VUZ), 45 Iberia (IBE), and 39 Aer Lingus (ARL) Airbus A320-family aircraft.

The new system will offer customers broadband internet access on their own mobile devices, allowing them to use email, check social media and stream videos. Bandwidth capacity will allow them to use multiple devices simultaneously, while connection speeds will be similar to what they have at home, the (IAG) said. “We are giving our customers the fastest connectivity you can get on any aircraft,” (IAG) (CEO) Willie Walsh said.

Earlier this year, the (IAG) announced the installation of Wi-Fi on its long-haul aircraft. “Connectivity is essential because it’s what our customers demand and the (IAG) will be the 1st European airline group to offer high-quality air-to-ground Wi-Fi on short-haul flights,” Walsh added.

“The European Aviation Network is a game changer for the millions of airline passengers that have been cut-off from fast, reliable and consistent broadband access during flights in Europe,” Inmarsat Aviation President Leo Mondale said. “It will combine the strengths of Inmarsat’s satellite connectivity with a powerful ground network operated by our partner Deutsche Telekom.”

The 1st short-haul aircraft to be equipped with the new system (a (BAB) A321) will be in service summer 2017. (ARL), (IBE) and (VUZ) aircraft will follow later in the year.

The new development means that by 2019, 90% of (IAG) airlines’ fleets will have connectivity.

December 2016: News Item A-1: "Qatar Airways Finalizes Stake in (LATAM)" by (ATW) Karen Walker, December 28, 2016.

(LATAM) Airlines Group (LAN)/(TPR) and Qatar Airways (QTA) have completed their transaction in which (QTA) has taken a 10% stake in the Latin America group.

The deal, which sees Qatar Airways (QTA) invest some $600 million through a capital increase in (LATAM), was completed December 28, (LATAM) announced. Both airlines are members of the Oneworld (ONW) global alliance. “The entrance of (QTA) as a shareholder of (LATAM) represents a unique opportunity to develop a long-term relationship and explore new opportunities for connectivity with Asia and the Middle East,” (LATAM) said.

The transaction was granted Brazilian regulatory approval in November. But (LATAM) is still waiting for approval of a transatlantic immunized joint venture (JV) with British Airways (BAB) and Iberia (IBE). Both European carriers are part of the (IAG) Group and are also Oneworld (ONW) Alliance members. (QTA) also has a 20% stake in the (IAG).

A330-202 (1761, EC-MNL "Tokio"), ex-(F-WWCR) delivery.

February 2017: News Item A-1: Lobby group "Airlines for Europe" (A4E) has completed its 1st year of operations, bringing both successes and some ongoing frustrations. (A4E) was started by Europe’s 5 major airline players: Air France (AFA) - (KLM), UK-based easyJet (ESJ), the International Airlines Group (IAG), Lufthansa (DLH), and Irish low-cost carrier (LCC) Ryanair (RYR) in January 2016 to focus on key policy areas, including airport charges, air traffic control (ATC) strikes and taxation.

News Item A-2: Iberia (IBE) and the Canary Islands-based Binter (BIC) reached a code share agreement to facilitate travel between Madrid and Agadir, El Aioun, Sal Island and Nouakchott. Flights to those African destinations will be sold under (IBE)’s flight code, while (BIC)’s code will also be added on Iberia Group flights between Madrid and Gran Canaria that connect to its flights to/from those African destinations.

March 2017: The International Airlines Group (IAG) launched its long-anticipated low-cost, long-haul carrier March 17, naming it "Level."

The new airline will be based at Barcelona’s El Prat airport, the hub of (IAG)’s low-cost carrier (LCC) Vueling (VUZ), which is expected to act as a feeder for the new long-haul operation. Level will start operations in June 2017, with 2 initial USA destinations of Los Angeles (2x-weekly) and San Francisco Oakland (3x-weekly), plus Buenos Aires, Argentina (3x-weekly) and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (2x-weekly). Further European cities will be added to the route map later, but an (IAG) spokeswoman declined to name them.

Initial equipment will consist of 2 new Airbus A330-200s, part of a batch of 5 options previously taken out with Airbus. More aircraft will be added to the Level fleet as the route map expands, the spokeswoman said. The 2 initial aircraft will be in a 2-class configuration, with 21PY premium economy and 293Y economy seats.

Level (LVL) will be orientated toward the leisure market: “We’re very much targeting people that want to fly long-haul, but haven’t been able to afford it in the past,” the spokeswoman said. The airline’s name was chosen because, “We believe this brand is about leveling the playing field so more people have the chance to fly long-haul.”

The 2 initial aircraft will be operated by crews from Spanish flag carrier Iberia (IBE), another of (IAG)’s brands. “Level (LVL) will become (IAG)’s 5th main airline brand alongside Aer Lingus (ARL), British Airways (BAB), Iberia (IBE) and Vueling (VUZ),” (IAG) (CEO) Willie Walsh said. “Barcelona is Vueling (VUZ)’s home base and this will allow customers to connect from (VUZ)’s extensive European network onto Level’s long-haul flights.”

Walsh has long been an admirer of Norwegian (NWG)’s young, but rapidly expanding, low-cost long-haul operation.

Like other low cost carriers (LCC)s, Level’s fares will be un-bundled, with economy (Y)-class passengers adding services at additional cost. Premium-economy (PY) passengers will have complimentary checked baggage plus a cabin bag, meals, seat selection and in-flight entertainment.

All passengers will have access to what (IAG) describes as a wide range of on-board entertainment options, but high-speed internet connectivity will come at a price (the minimum charge will be €8.99/($9.65)).

April 2017: News Item A-1: Oneworld (ONW) Alliance members Iberia (IBE) and Qatar Airways (QTA) have begun code share flights offering passengers more flight options to/from Doha and Spain and Portugal.

According to the agreement, (ibe), the Spanish flag carrier is marketing the 2 daily flights operated by Doha-based (QTA) between Madrid and Doha under its IB designator code. Qatar Airways (QTA)’s QR code has been added to (IBE) flights from Madrid to 28 destinations in Spain and Portugal.

Qatar Airways Group (CEO) Akbar Al Baker said code share partnerships and airline alliances “continue to play an important role for (QTA). In linking (IBE)'s extensive network across Spain and Portugal with Qatar (QTA)’s global network of >150 destinations, passengers will benefit from seamless connectivity and the growing strength of the (ONW) global network.”

News Item A-2: Spanish flag carrier Iberia (IBE) has unveiled its 1st Airbus A340-600 fitted with new premium-economy (PY) seats and revealed 1st routes.

(IBE) Maintenance will install the new seats on (IBE) aircraft at its Madrid Barajas International hangars, while (IBE)'s ordered Airbus A350s will come factory-equipped with the new (PY) seating section. This summer, (IBE) will have 5 A340-600s equipped with the new cabin.

The premium-economy (PY) class will be available from May on flights to Chicago, New York, and Bogota. In June, it will be available on flights to Mexico; in July on flights between Madrid and Miami; and in August on flights to Boston. By the summer season of 2018, premium-economy (PY) seating will be available on all (IBE)'s long-haul routes operating A340-600s, A330-300s and A350s.

The premium economy (PY) product includes +20% more separation (37 in) between seat rows, 19-in wide seats, +40% more recline, adjustable head/foot rests, (HD) 12-in touchscreens, noise-canceling headphones, and connection ports for personal electronic devices.

Premium-economy (PY) class also includes upgraded catering, increased luggage allowance, priority boarding and disembarkation.

May 2017: The International Airlines Group (IAG) posted a 1st-quarter net profit of +€27 million/+$29.6 million, down -74% from net profit of +€104 million in (1Q) 2016. The company said adverse currency movements played a significant part in the profit drop.

Revenue for the quarter was €4.9 billion, down -2.8% from the year-ago figure of €5.08 billion.

However (IAG) (the parent company for Aer Lingus (ARL), British Airways, Iberia (IBE) and Vueling (VUZ)) said it had recorded its highest-ever operating profit for the traditionally weak 1st quarter of the year, at €170 million before exceptional items, up +9.7% compared to +€155 million last time.

The (IAG) said (1Q) 2017 had seen a backdrop of increasing fuel prices and a stronger USA dollar against both the euro and the UK pound. This gave an adverse foreign exchange figure of €32 million.

In an analysts’ call on the figures reported by "Reuters," Walsh said the group’s new long-haul, low-cost carrier (LCC), "Level," would add “2 or 3” aircraft to its initial 2 Airbus A330-200s in 2018 and would begin to operate from at least 1 new European base, apart from its initial base at Barcelona.

The “improving trend” in passenger unit revenue was continuing, (IAG) (CEO) Willie Walsh said, with (2Q) passenger unit revenue also anticipated to be up on the year-ago figure. At current fuel prices and exchange rates, the group was on course to improve its operating profit figure for 2017 compared to 2016, he added.

Capacity rose +3.3% to 68.3 billion ASKs, while load factor inched up +0.1% to 79% LF. Although capacity grew across all regions, the group picked out Aer Lingus (ARL)’s continued growth on North Atlantic services, while low-cost carrier (LCC) Vueling (VUZ) grew in its Spanish homeland and was able to reduce its seasonality.

(BAB) launched new routes to Santiago, Chile, and Oakland, California, while dropping 1 of its China routes, to Chengdu. Iberia (IBE) continued to rationalize its European operations, while increasing capacity on long-haul routes launched in 2016, such as Shanghai, Tokyo and Johannesburg.

Passenger revenue kept pace with the capacity increase, up +3.3% at 53.9 billion RPKs, while cargo tonne kms rose +3.6% to 1.37 billion.
Passenger numbers rose +3.8%, to 21.1 million, up from 20.4 million a year ago.

Employee costs were €1.15 billion, down -6% compared to the same period in 2016, while fuel, oil and emission charges dropped -10.8% to €1.06 billion.

June 2017: A previous (IAG) order for 20 Airbus A320neos will be placed with Spanish flag carrier Iberia (IBE), (IBE) said June 28.

The aircraft were previously announced as part of a much larger batch of orders and options taken out by the (IAG) in August, 2013. It then converted 20 of those options unto firm orders in August 2015, but said at that point that the aircraft could be allocated to any airline in the group.

At an event marking the airline’s 90th anniversary, (IBE)’s Chairman & (CEO) Luis Gallego, said the aircraft would be used to modernize the company’s short- and medium-haul fleet. The aircraft will be delivered from the 1st half of 2018 through 2021.

(IBE) currently operates 14 earlier A320s, together with 16 A319s and 12 A321s.

The book value of the new order is $1.84 billion, but (IBE) parent company the (IAG), which also owns Aer Lingus (ARL), British Airways (BAB), Spanish low-cost carrier (LCC) Vueling (VUZ) and new, low-cost long-haul carrier Level, has reportedly negotiated a significant reduction in the price. (IAG) signed a memorandum of understanding at the Paris Air Show for Pratt & Whitney (PRW) (GTF) engines for the neos it has on order.

The A320neo order follows the modernization of (IBE)’s long-haul fleet which began in 2013. This involves 39 new aircraft joining the fleet through 2021, including 16 Airbus A350-900s, the 1st of them being delivered in 2018. (IBE) is also introducing a premium economy (PY) long-haul product this summer.

Gallego also announced Wednesday that a reorganized Madrid to Barcelona walk-on air shuttle service, known as the Puente Aéreo, or Air Bridge, will be launched July 19.

Apart from the standard open tickets on the route, customers will also be able to book a specific flight, change or cancel their reservations for the shuttle or cancel them without any restriction.

Tickets may be reserved and purchased (and boarding cards issued) on (IBE)’s website or mobile app, enabling passengers to proceed directly to boarding gates. Puente Aéreo passengers will continue to use dedicated facilities in both Madrid and Barcelona airports, where they can check in as little as 15 minutes before departure time.

Other innovations include additional flight options, with passengers being able to fly both on Iberia (IBE) and Vueling (VUZ) flights between the 2 cities as well as shuttle flights. This brings the total to as many as 26x-daily in each direction, 16x- of them operated by (IBE) and 10x- by (VUZ).

September 2017: Spanish flag carrier Iberia (IBE) has agreed to a voluntary redundancy deal with its unions that could see up to 955 personnel leaving the airline by December 2019. The agreement, which is designed to improve efficiency at the Madrid-based company, offers staff several ways to leave employment, a company spokeswoman said. Over the past week, (IBE) and labor unions reached an agreement on compensation packages for people wanting to leave.

December 2017: Iberia (IBE) will resume 3X-weekly Madrid to San Juan service from March 26 to October 26, increasing to 5x-weekly from June 4 to August 6.

March 2018: News Item A-1: Oneworld (ONW) Alliance members Iberia (IBE) and Qatar Airways (QTA) have begun code share flights offering passengers more flight options to/from Doha and Spain and Portugal. According to the agreement, (IBE) the Spanish flag carrier is marketing the 2x-daily flights operated by Doha-based, (QTA) between Madrid and Doha under its IB designator code. (QTA)’sS QR code has been added to (IBE) flights from Madrid to 28 destinations in Spain and Portugal.

News Item A-2: "Visit the Spanish Castle That Inspired Walt Disney."

Located in central Spain, the Alcázar of Segovia is 1 of Spain’s most visited and distinctive landmarks. Having served as a fortress, a royal palace, a state penitentiary, and, most recently, a museum and military archive, it's most famous for providing inspiration for some of Walt Disney’s most iconic films, including “Cinderella” and “Snow White.”

See video: https://youtu.be/RWJypWTnFo8

April 2018: "Virtual Reality Startup Secures Launch Customer" by
Thierry Dubois (thierry.dubois@aviationweek.com), April 12, 2018.

"In-flight (VR)," a startup company offering virtual-reality (VR) headsets for in-flight entertainment (IFE), has found a launch customer after it conducted test flights with 3 carriers.

The headsets will enter service in May with a European carrier, according to Founder & Managing Director Nikolas Jaeger.

The evaluations took place with Iberia (IBE), Germania (RFG) and an unnamed airline. “We are adjusting the content to the various classes,” Nikolas Jaeger said. Otherwise, depending on the space available per passenger, the neighbor of an In-flight (VR) headset user could be disturbed by his gesturing.

Options for content include movies, concerts, a tour of the destination, shopping and relaxation exercises. “The airline has a captive audience for several hours,” Jaeger said. From a passenger’s standpoint, such a device enables him or her “to escape the cabin.”

The company could deliver in 4 to 6 weeks, Jaeger said. One device is said to be cheaper than a fixed seat-back (IFE) system. However, one airplane could likely receive only a few dozens headsets (fewer than its passenger capacity). Because of the size of a headset, a regular trolley can contain 50 of them, Jaeger explained.

How to store content is a question related to that of situational awareness. On the one hand, storage on the device itself gives autonomy and is feasible thanks to 2-terabyte (SD) cards. On the other hand, the absence of connection between the headset and the cabin management system may be a safety issue. A solution may be to do both. In-cabin connectivity would be used when the crew makes an announcement and when a safety message has to be displayed. But the (VR) content would still be stored on each headset, as streaming 3D images to 50 passengers would take too much bandwidth, Jaeger said.

For the airline, the (VR) device may yield ancillary revenues. Advertisers would pay a premium price for immersive videos, thanks to the 110-degree field of view. Economy (Y) class passengers would be able to rent the headset.

It weighs approximately 1 lb and battery autonomy stands at “3 to 4 hours.” The catering company will be responsible for charging. In-flight (VR) has picked Pico headsets, but is talking to other manufacturers, Jaeger said.

June 2018: Iberia (IBE) has recommenced scheduled flights at Burgos (RGS), with a 3x-weekly service from its Barcelona (BCN) operation. Flown by Air Nostrum’s CRJ1000 fleet, the 484 km route faces no direct competition.

October 2018: News Item A-1: The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has begun an investigation into the Atlantic Joint Business Agreement, a transatlantic partnership between American Airlines (AAL), British Airways (BAB), Spain’s Iberia (IBE) and Finland flag carrier Finnair (FIN). “This case is at an early stage and no assumption should be made that the Atlantic Joint Business Agreement infringes competition law,” the (CMA) said October 11.

News Item A-2: Spanish flag carrier Iberia (IBE) is boosting services from its Madrid Barajas hub to Latin America, and introducing additional Airbus A350 XWB routes to Buenos Aires Ezeiza (Argentina) and Chicago O’Hare (Illinois) in 2019.

(IBE), the International Airlines Group (IAB)-owned carrier will increase capacity between Madrid and Montevideo (Uruguay) from 5x-weekly to daily; to Quito (Ecuador) from 6x-weekly to daily; and to Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) from 5x-weekly to daily services, starting July 2019.

Madrid to Lima (Peru) services will increase to 10x-weekly in July and August 2019.

In 2019, (IBE) will take delivery of 3 additional Airbus A350-900s, which will enable the Oneworld (ONW) alliance member to operate type on its strategic Madrid to Buenos Aires route from February onward on 1 of 2 daily flights.

Buenos Aires is a key market for (IBE), which will add frequencies, up to 17x-weekly, in 2019.

(IBE) will resume 3x-weekly Madrid to San Francisco A330 service on April 12, 2019. (IBE) will upgrade Madrid to Chicago services to A350 services from May 2019.


Click below for photos:
IBE-A319 - 2016-09.jpg
IBE-A320 - EXPRESS-2015-10.jpg
IBE-A321-211 2488 EC-JDR - 2016-11.jpg
IBE-A330 - 2013-11
IBE-A330 - NEW LIVERY - 20
IBE-A330-200 - 2015-03.jpg
IBE-A330-300 - 2013-03
IBE-A330-302 EC-LUK 2018-03.jpg
IBE-A340-600 2018-02.jpg
IBE-A350-900 - 2014-08

December 2018:

0 727-256B (JT8D) (905-20595, /73 EC-CBA; 1501-1781, /79 EC-DDZ). 9 SOLD TO REPUBLIC FINANCE (20595; 20602; 20606; 20811; 21609; 21610; 21611; 21779; 21781) 7/00. 8 SOLD TO PRESTIGE 2001-10 (20598; 20600; 20604; 20812; 20813; 20814; 20818; 20975). 155 PAX.

0 737-36E (CFM56-3) (2706-26315; 2719-26317; 2769-26322; 2792-27626), EX-(VIV), 12/98; RETURNED (ILF) 26316; 26317; LEASED TO (AEY), LEASED TO (ADH).

0 737-300F (JT8D), FREIGHTER.

0 737-43Q (CFM56-3) (2827-28489), RETURNED (GEF), LEASED TO (VOZ).

0 737-400 (CFM56-3), (ARE) WET-LEASED FROM 1998-04, 3 RETURNED. (VIV) MAINTENANCE.

0 747-133 (121-20014), (AID) WET-LEASED.

0 747-256B (JT9D-7Q) (22464; 22465; (AID) WET-LEASED 18 MONTHS 2000-01) (173-20137, /71 EC-GAG; 554-22764, /82 EC-DNP), 24071, EC-EEK; SOLD TO (UPS) 2001-03. 22454 (AID) WET-LEASED 2001-05. 22455 WFU AT MADRID 2003-10. 22764 WFU AT MADRID 200404. 22238 WFU 2005-01 IN STORAGE. 8F, 46C, 350Y.

0 747-246 (JT9D-7A) (20924), (AID) WET-LEASED 2 YEARS 1998-12. RETURNED.

0 747-267 (RB211) (22429; 22530), EX-(CAT), (AID) WET-LEASED <2000-07.

0 747-267 (RB211-524) (466-22149, /80), EX-(CAT), (AID) WET-LEASED UNTIL 2002-02. 22149 PARTED OUT AT KEMBLE 2004-06.

0 747-200F, (TLS) WET-LEASED 1998-10. RETURNED.

0 747-341 (CF6-80C2B1) (24106; 702-24107, "GONZALO DE BERCEO;" 703-24108, /88 TF-ATJ "JOSE ZORILLA"), EX-(VAR), (AID) 4 YEAR WET-LEASED 2000-12. RETURNED 2005-11. 61C, 411Y.

0 747-412 (PW4056) (736-24063, TF-AMA; 761-24065 TF-AMB), (SIA) 2 YEAR LEASED TO (AID) 2004-04, (AID) WET-LEASED 2004-06. 12F, 58C, 316Y.

0 757-200F (REI) WET-LEASED 2010-02. FREIGHTER.

0 757-256 (RB211-535E4) (935-29308, /00 EC-HIR, "SALVADOR;" 936-29309, /00 EC-HIS "PARAGUAY;" 938-29310, /00 EC-HIT "GUATEMALA;" 940-29311, /00 EC-HIU, "COLOMBIA") (897-26251, /99 EC-HDR "SOR JUANA DE LA CRUZ;" 948-30052, /00 EC-HIX "CUBA"). 26246 RTND (TCI) 2002-06, LEASED TO (AVI). 26247; 26248; 26249; 26250; RTND (ILF), LEASED TO (VAR) 2004-09. NON-(ETOPS). 200Y.

0 757-256 (RB211-535E4) (26240; 26241; 26245; RETURNED (ARE) 2000-11), (ARE) WET-LEASED FROM 1998-04, 26244 TO (NAF), (SNR) LEASED, RETURNED 3 TO (ARE) 2001-10.

0 767-300ER, (ARE) WET-LEASED FROM 1998-04. RETURNED.

0 767-3YOER (CF6-80C2F) (487-26206, /93 EC-GSU; 503-26207, EC-GTI), EX-(AAR), (GEH) LEASED, 2 RETURNED 2001-10, LEASED TO (KEN).

0 DC-8-62C, WET-LEASED TO (REI) 1998-11.


0 DC-10-30, 3 EX-(VIA) 4/98, ALL GROUNDED, 276-46972, PARTED OUT 2000-08. 5 SOLD TO FIRSTPORT INTERNATIONAL 2002-12.

0 MD-87 (JT8D-217C), 49831 SOLD TO (SPP) 2005-10. ALL 18 WFU 2008-10. 109Y.

0 MD-88 (JT8D-217C) (1890-53193, /91 EC-FGM "TORRE DE HERCULES;" 1911-53194, /91 EC-FHG "LA ALMUDAINA;" 1929-53195, /91 EC-FIG "PENON DE IFACH;" 1930-53196, /91 EC-FIH "ALBAICIN;" 1940-53197, /91 EC-FJE "GIBRALFARO;" 1975-53304, /92 EC-FLK "LA MAGDALENA;" 1974-53303, /92 EC-FLN "PUERTA DE TIERRA;" 2001-53305, /92 EC-FND "PLAYA DE LA CONCHA;" 2015-53307, /92 EC-FOF "PUERTA DE ALCALA;" 2014-53306, /92 EC-FOG "CESAR MANRIQUE LANZAROTE;" 2022-53308, /92 EC-FOZ "MONTJUIC;" 2023-53309, /92 EC-FPD "LAGOS DE COVADONGA;" 2024-53310, /92 EC-FPJ "RIA DE VIGO"), ALL LAST 12 WFU OCTOBER 2008. 150Y.

0 MD-88 (JT8D-219) (2167-53546, /97 TC-ONM "YASEMIN"), (ONU) WET-LEASED 2003-03. RETURNED 2005-06. 150Y.

0 A300B4-120 (3 STORED), 130 BROKEN UP 1999-12, ALL 5 WFU 2002-06. 156.

0 A300B4-203 (077 BROKEN UP 1999-12). 076 WFU 2001-12.


78 OPTIONS A319/A320/A321:

14 +2 ORDERS A319-111 (CFM56-5B4/P) (0998, EC-MFP, 2015-05; 1154, EC-HGR "RIBEIRA SACRA"; 1180, EC-HGS "BARDENAS REALES;" 1362, /00 EC-HKO "GORBEA;" 1247, /00 EC-HGT "ICNETAS DE ENCISO" 200l-06; 2264, EC-JAZ "FONTIBRE" 2004-08, 2311; 2365, EC-JDL, 2004-12; 2843, EC-JVE "PUERTO DE LA CRUZ" 2006-08; 2870, EC-JXA 2006-09; 2889, EC-JXJ "CIUDAD DE BAEZA" 2006-09; 2897, EC-JXV "CONCEJO DE COBRALES;" 3054, EC-KBJ, 2007-03; 3078, EC-KBX "OSO PARDO" 2007-04; 3102, EC-KDI, 2007-06; 3169, EC-KEV, 2007-06; 3179, EC-KFT, 2007-07; 3209, EC-KHM, 2007-07; 3255, EC-KJC "AVUTARDA" 2007-10; 3320, EC-KKS "HALCON PEREGRINO" 2007-12 - SEE PHOTO; 3377, EC-KME "GRULLA" 2008-01; 3380, EC-KMD, 2008-01; 3443, EC-KOY "VENCEJO" 2008-03; 3651, EC-KUB, 2008-09; 3744, EC-LEI "VISION EUROPEO" 2008-12), (ILF) LEASED. 44C, 78Y.

1 +29 ORDERS A320-200 (CFM56-5B), 18C, 162Y.



0 A320-211 (CFM56-5A1) (136, /90 EC-GRF "MONTSENY;" 146, /90 EC-GRH "SIERRA DE SEGURA;" 173, EC-FDB*; 240, /91 EC-ICR "ISLA DE LA CARTUJA;" 241, /91 EC-ICS "SIERRA DE GRAZALEMA;" 264, /91 EC-ICT, "MONTE ALHOYA" 2006-12), 273, EC-). 136; 146; 240; 241; 264; 312; WET-LEASED TO CLICKAIR (CLK). * "IBERIA EXPRESS" TITLES. 18C, 162Y.

15 +19 ORDERS A320-214 (CFM56-5B4/P) (992, /99 EC-HAD; 994, /99 EC-HAB) (1047, /99 EC-HAF "SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA;" 1101, /99 EC-LKH, 2011-01; 1119, /99 EC-HDT; 1255, /00 EC-HSF "MAR MENOR;" 1262, /00 EC-HYC) 1288, /00 EC-HYD; 1292, /00 EC-HUJ "GETARIA") (1379, /00 EC-HQG "LAS HURDES"). (1396, /01 EC-HQI "LA ALBUFERA;" 1461, /01 EC-HQL "LIEBANA;" 1484, /01 EC-HQM "RIO JUCAR;" 1430, /01 EC-HQJ "BOSQUE DE MUNIELLOS;" 1454, /01 EC-HQK "MACARELLA"). (1674, /01 EC-HEG; 1694, /01 EC-IEI; 1736 /02 EC-HEQ "LA PEDRERA" 7/02; 1793, /02 EC-HER "SAN JUAN DE LA PENA;" 1809, /02 EC-HES; EC-ILS "SIERRA DE CAMEROS;" 2104, EC-JFH, 2005-04; 2143, EC-JFG, 2005-04; 2776, EC-JSB, 2006-05; 2807, EC-JSK "CIUDAD ENCATADA" 2006-06) (ILF) LEASED; 2225, EC-IZH, 2004-06. 2248, XA-UDU; & 2347, XA-UDT 2005-02; LEASES TO (CMA) 2005-04. 2391, EC-JFH, 2005-04. 994 RETURNED, LEASED TO (SHZ) 2005-05. 1229; LEASED TO (CMA) 2006-07. RETURNED FROM (CMA) 2008-01. 18C, 162Y.



1 A320-214 (CFM56-5B4/P) (1063, EC-HDL), (SIL) LEASED. 992 RETURNED 2004-06. 18C, 162Y.

1 A320-214 (CFM56-5B4/P (3882, 2009-05). 18C, 162Y.

1 A320-216 (3952, F-WWBI 2009-06), STORED AT TOULOUSE. 18C, 162Y.

1 A320-216 (5692, EC-LXQ "PENON DE IFACH"), EX-(D-AVVG) 2013-07

0 A320-231 (308), (OXA) LEASED. 18C, 162Y.

1 A320-251N (8221, EC-MXU), 18C, 162Y.

0 A321-211 (CFM56-5B3/P) (1021, /99 EC-HUH "BENIDORM" - - SEE PHOTO - - "IBE-A321-200;" 1027, /99 EC-HUN; 2115). 46C, 154Y.

1 A321-200 (2270), (ALE) LEASED.

9 A321-211 (CFM56-5B3/P) (1681, /02 EC-ILO; 1716 IN STORAGE 5/02). (1554, /01 EC-IIG); (1572, /01 EC-IGK) (1836, /02 EC-IJN "MERIDA") 17 SWITCHED TO A320'S 1999-09. (1716, /02 EC-ILP "PENSICOLA" 2003-10; 2115, EC-ITN, 2004-01; 2220, EC-IXD, 2004-05; 2270, EC-JNI, 2005-12; 2357, EC-JDM, 2004-12; 2381, 2005-02; 2472, EC-JGS "GUADELUPE;" 2488, EC-JDR, 2005-06; 2563, EC-JLI, "DELTA DEL LLOBREGAT" 2005-10; 2599, EC-JMR, 2005-11). 46C, 154Y.

2 +3 ORDERS A321-211 (CFM56-5B3/P) (2736, EX-JQZ, 2006-04; 2756, EC-JRE, 2006-05). 46C, 154Y.

3 A321-212 (CFM56-5B1) (2736, /06 EC-JQZ; 2756, /06 EC-JRE; 2996, /07 EZ-JZM), 36C, 241Y.

0 A330-200, (TPR) 2 YEAR LEASED (2004-06), RETURNED.

2 +19 ORDERS A330-200 (CF6) (1740, /16 EC-MLP "LIMA" 2016-08; 1761, /16 EC-MNL "TOKIO" 2016-12).

15 A330-302 (CF6-80E1A4) (1377, /13 EC-LUB), TO REPLACE 16 A340 FAMILY AIRPLANES - - SEE ATTACHED PHOTO - - "IBE-BUSINESS CLASS - A330-300;" 1385, /13 EC-LUK; 1405, /13 EC-LUX; 1426, /13 EC-LXK), 36C, 241Y.

1 A340-300, (ILF) 6 YEAR LEASED.

8 A340-313X (CFM56-5C4) (125, /96 EC-GGS "CONCHA ESPINA;" 302, /99 EC-HDQ; 318, /00 EC-HGU "MARIA DE MOLINA;" 378, /OO EC-HQF "MARIA DE ZAYAS Y SOTOMAYOR" 2001-02; 387, /01 EC-LHM "GALAPAGOS - ECUADOR" 2001-03; 414, /01 EC-HQN "LUISA CARVAJAL Y MENDOZA"), MAINTAINED BY (LTK) (DLH). 38C, 218Y.

0 A340-313X (CFM56-5C4) (329, /00 EC-HGV "MARIA GUERRERO;" 332, /00 EC-HGW). 38C, 218Y.

17 A340-642 (TRENT 556A2-61) (431, /03 EC-INO "GAUDI;" 440, EC-IOB "PABLO PICASSO;" 460, EC-IQR "SALVADOR DALI" 2003-10; 601, EC-IZX "MARIANO BENLLIURE" 2004-10; 604, EC-IZY "IGNACIO DE ZULOAGA" 2004-11; 606, EC-JBA "JOAQUIN RODRIGO" 2004-11; 617, 2005-01; 619, 2005-02; 672, EC-JFX, 2005-06; 702, /05 EC-JLE, "SANTIAGO RAMON Y CAJAL"; 727, EC-JNQ "ANTONIO MACHADO" 2006-02; 731, EC-JOH, "MIGUEL DE UNAMUNO" 2006-03 - SEE INCDT WITH PHOTO 2007-11; 744, EC-JPU "PIO BAROJA" 2006-04; 960, EC-LEU "RIO AMAZONAS" 2009-06; 1017, EC-KZI, 2009-07; 1122, /10 EC-LFS). 960, EC-LEU, 2010-06; 993, 2009-09; 1017, 2009-06; STORED. 993 REMOVED FROM STORAGE 2010-03. 960, REMOVED 2010-06. 4 (ILF) LEASED, 42C, 300Y.

2 +22 ORDERS A350-900 (TRENT XWB):







Click below for photos:
IBE-1-Luis Gallego - 2016-10.jpg
IBE-7-ADOLFO GORDO - 2014-09








(mlopeza@iberia.es) (MADMPIB).



















(jlquiros@iberia.es), RESIGNED TO BECOME COO OF (VUZ) (2008-07).


















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