Iberia Express Launches with 17 Routes

Iberia Express to Launch March 25th | Airbus A319 | Airline News

Iberia Express Takes Off March 25

Iberia Express is a new unit covering short and medium-haul routes.  The Iberia Express unit was created to reduce costs with increasing jet fuel prices, which has made keeping fares reasonable while still turning a profit difficult.  The Iberia Express unit has been a source of controversy with the SEPLA pilots union, who have been engaging in work actions against Iberia.  The pilots union is afraid the new unit will take flying away from existing Iberia pilot jobs, resulting in a series of strikes on specific days each month.

The new unit will begin operations on Sunday, March 25, 2012, with flights between Madrid (MAD) and and Palma de Majorca (PMI), Alicante (ALC), Malaga (AGP), and Seville (SVQ).

As summer approaches, Iberia Express plans to operate to 17 hot spots popular with customers including:

  • Vigo (VGO)
  • Santiago de Compostela (SCQ)
  • Granada (GRX)
  • Minorca (MAH)
  • Ibiza (IBZ)
  • Fuerteventura (FUE)
  • Lanzarote (ACE)
  • La Palma (SPC)
  • Dublin (DUB)
  • Naples (NAP)
  • Mikonos – Mykonos, Greece (JMK)
  • Riga (RIX)
  • Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS)

The new airline, Iberia Express, is wholly owned by Iberia; the airline made its official debut in Madrid today with Iberia CEO Rafael Sánchez-Lozano and Iberia Express CEO Luis Gallego at a press conference.

Iberia Express – New Airline for European Short to Medium Haul Routes

The new unit is being launched to restore profits on short and medium distance routes.  The cost of jet fuel (Jet A) is reaching record highs, the European Union is now taxing airlines on CO2 emissions, and labor costs, in general, are high.  In addition to high costs is the need to compete with other low cost carriers.

Iberia Express will start operating initially with four fuel-efficient Airbus A320 aircraft on both domestic and European routes.  At the end of the year, Iberia Express plans to have fourteen A320 aircraft and a staff of approximately 500 people.  The new unit will boast traffic at Iberia Group’s hub at Madrid-Barajas International Airport (MAD).

Rafael Sánchez-Lozano, Iberia CEO, emphasized Iberia 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 Iberia is focusing its growth strategy.”

Iberia Express CEO, Luis Gallego made a note, stressing “Iberia Express will have the best of Iberia and new attributes associated with the ‘express’ concept”  The new airline will be managed separately, but will use Iberia’s maintenance and services.

Gallego concluded, “the containment of costs will allow Iberia Express to grow and compete with the low-cost operators”  Iberia Express has stressed the new airline will provide more affordable fares while keeping with Iberia’s existing service levels.

Domestic flights, including travel from the Spanish mainland to the Balearic Islands, will start at just 25 euros.

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