New airline will end first year with 14 aircraft and 500 employees

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The FINANCIAL — Iberia Express, Iberia’s new unit for covering short- and medium-haul routes, begins operations on Sunday, March 25, with flights between Madrid and Palma de Majorca, Alicante, Malaga, and Seville.


A total of 17 destinations will be served during the summer season, including Vigo, Santiago de Compostela, Granada, Minorca, Ibiza, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, and La Palma in Spain, and also Dublin, Naples, Mikonos, Riga and Amsterdam.

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

The new Iberia unit is designed to restore profitability to short- and medium-haul routes, operating initially with four A320s on domestic and European routes. By the end of the year the company is expected to have fourteen A320s and a staff of some 500 people. The new company will strengthen the Iberia group’s Madrid-Barajas hub and contribute to the growth of its long-haul business.

At the press conference, Iberia CEO Rafael Sánchez-Lozano stressed that 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 pointed out that “Iberia Express will have the best of Iberia and new attributes associated with the ‘express’ concept”. The new airline will be managed independently, but will use Iberia’s maintenance and other services.

Gallego said “the containment of costs will allow Iberia Express to grow and compete with the low-cost operators”. The new airline will offer customers more affordable fares while maintaining the levels of service now provided by Iberia. Domestic flights including travel from the Spanish mainland to the Balearic Islands will now start at just 25 euros.

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