Employee commitment enabled Iberia to operate more than 100 medical supply flights and 60 repatriation flights from 20 countries. It was also the first airline to bring vaccines to Spain, and has now carried some 2.5 million doses.
- Employee commitment enabled Iberia to operate more than 100 medical supply flights and 60 repatriation flights from 20 countries. It was also the first airline to bring vaccines to Spain, and has now carried some 2.5 million doses.
- Iberia earned its fourth Skytrax star as a Covid-safe airline, while customer satisfaction rose by seven points, and punctuality of short- and medium-haul flights reached 94.6%, and for long-haul flights it reached 88.4%.
- The airline and its airport handling and maintenance divisions had to adapt to the new environment, seeking new business such as charter flights, freight, and aircraft parking and preservation.
- The pandemic accelerated fleet replacement plans, bringing more sustainable aircraft into service. The handling unit, Iberia Airport Services, replaced much of its ground vehicle fleet with electric-powered, remote-controlled equipment, while the maintenance division is retooling to service the new GTF and Leap aircraft engines, which are 15% more efficient than their predecessors.
Iberia was founded on 28 June, 1927, and 94 years later it presented its Sustainability Report for 2020, a year marked by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Commitment to the Community
During the grim, early months of the pandemic, Iberia operated more than 100 cargo flights to China to retrieve PPE, face masks, respirators, testing kits, and other health supplies from China. The shipments were initially earmarked for Spain, but Iberia also delivered shipments to Ecuador, El Salvador, Peru, and the Dominican Republic.
In collaboration with the Spanish Foreign Ministry, Iberia also staged more than 60 repatriation flights to and from some 20 countries, some as distant as Australia, the Philippines, and Thailand, which are not normally served by the Spanish airline.
On 28 December, Iberia became the first airline to bring vaccines to Spain, the first of nearly two million doses delivered to date. These were initially destined chiefly for the Balearic and Canary Islands and Spain’s North African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, but later shipments were delivered to several Latin American countries.
Safety and Excellence in Customer Service
From the outset, Iberia met and even exceeded official recommendations and standard for safety and hygiene, as issued by the Spanish Air Safety Agency (AESA), to ensure a safe travel experience for passengers. These measures earned Iberia four stars from the airline consultants and monitoring company Skytrax.
Meanwhile, Iberia’s customer satisfaction rating, expresses as Net Promote Score (NPS), rose by 7 percentage point in 2020 due in large measure to the airline’s good punctuality performance in the year, when 94.6% of its short- and medium-haul flights and 88.4% of its long-haul flights arrived on time. Also contributing to the rise was the implementation of new protocols such as boarding by rows, and the gradual recovery of premium services, including the new food service launched in October, and the extension of WiFi availability to the entire short- and medium-haul fleet.
Flexibility and Adaptability
The year was also marked by the plummeting of air travel demand and the need to find other revenue streams in the new environment.
Iberia began to market charter flights, and also converted three of its Airbus A330 into freighters, carrying cargo to and from such destinations as Los Angeles, Santiago de Chile, and Tel Aviv. They have since been restored to their original configurations as passenger carriers.
Iberia Airport Services, the airline’s handing unit, also shifted its focus to cargo, while serving a total of more than 160,000 aircraft for more than 200 client airlines. The number of freighters served rose by nearly 30% in the year to 3,300.
Iberia Maintenance also adapted to the new environment, offering aircraft storage and preservation services, with more than 140 aircraft in its custody.
Despite the pandemic, Iberia not only continued with but even accelerated its fleet replacement programme, taking delivery of four Airbus A350 and two A320neo, while retiring its last nine A340/600, cutting both the average age of its fleet and also fuel consumption and atmospheric emissions.
The handing unit also replaced much of its ground vehicle fleet with electric-powered, remote-controlled equipment, including “green” pushback tractors.
Iberia Maintenance also uses electric vehicles, and is now adapting its facilities to service the latest Pratt & 3 / 3 Whitney GTF and CFM Leap aircraft engines which power the A320neo and cut emissions by 15%.