With more than a month to go before the high season in Spain starts, the Spanish airline Iberia has 43% of its capacity from early 2019. Iberia focuses on the business market and connection with Latin America.
The percentage of ERTE schemes for staff is down from 94% to 55-60%. After a long period of uncertainty, the vaccination campaign in Europe offers the aviation sector hope for a better future. England recently announced that travel abroad will be allowed without restrictions from June. In the meantime, Iberia carefully programmed flight capacity to have as few flights as possible afterwards. With this strategy, they conquered a strong competitive position in the budget segment and even knocked Ryanair off the top spot in Spain.
In January and February, Iberia completed a total of 10,500 flights from Spain – 43% of flights for the same period in 2019. After Iberia, the Canary airline Binter followed with a total of 6,100 flights (66% compared to 2019). Air Europa is number three with 3,500 scheduled flights (29%) and Vueling is number four with 3,300 scheduled flights (19%). Ryanair, Easyjet and Lufthansa follow.
Iberia commit to the business and intercontinental market
Iberia not only focuses on scheduled services between the peninsula and the two Spanish island groups, but also on the business market and accessibility to Latin America. In November, the number of domestic flights for business travellers doubled to six a day. In addition, a special programme allows business travellers a same day return to a major European city.
To increase revenues, Iberia upped its cargo capacity and deployed three additional passenger aircraft. In January and February alone, Iberia expects to operate more than 100 cargo flights to Bogotá and Lima. They will return EU citizens to Madrid from those destinations on the way back.
Spain number two in capacity at European level
At European level, the Spanish aviation sector will have the second largest flight capacity in the first months of 2021 with 5.2million seats. Only France is above that with 5.3million seats. England (3.6million seats), Germany (3.4million) and Italy (2.9million) follow at a distance. The Netherlands is in sixth position with 2.1million seats. At airline level, there are 1.9million seats from Iberia and 3million from Air France. With those 1.9 million seats, Iberia competes for second place with the 2.3million seats of Ryanair and 2million seats of KLM.