Iberia is making plans to open new routes to Asia, Africa and the Americas in the next two years. The new destinations will be announced before the end of the year, following negotiations and profitability studies.
This expansion is made possible by the successful implementation of Iberia’s Plan de Futuro and consequential improvements in costs and earnings performance, which is meeting the company’s objectives, as the latest report by parent IAG attests.
This improved outlook has led the airline to seek new opportunities both in its traditional markets and in new territories.
Destinations now under study include Tokyo, Doha, Johannesburg, Toronto, Guadalajara, Managua, San Juan de Puerto Rico, Brasilia, and Asunción. Negotiations will be followed profitability studies before final decisions are made.
The company hopes to open the new long-haul routes in 2016 and 2017.
At the same time, and subject to final contractual negotiations, IAG plans to convert in firm orders up to five A330-200 and eight A350-900 options to expand and renew Iberia long haul fleet.
Iberia’s Executive Chairman Luis Gallego commented that “this announcement is a confirmation of our commitment to global growth, though always under the premise that sustained profitability is the key criteria. Also crucial is the support of our customers, employees, and IAG shareholders.”
Since April, 2014, when the Plan de Futuro was launched and new agreements were reached with unions, the Iberia Group has launched 30 new routes to 22 new destinations, including Havana, Montevideo, Santo Domingo, Cali and Medellin in Latin America; and Florence, Hamburg, Budapest, Edinburgh, Naples, Istanbul, Athens, Stockholm, and Amsterdam in Europe.
Early this year IAG also ordered 16 new long-haul aircraft for Iberia, eight A330-200s to be delivered this year and next, along with eight A350-900s, for delivery in 2018-2020. In 2013 and 2014 eight new A330-300s were added to the Iberia fleet.
Last year Iberia posted its first operating profit in six years, thanks to the cost-cutting measures and new revenue streams, along with major improvements in customer service.