Iberia Announces New Plans; Prepares for Strike

Iberia's Boad of Directors has adopted a new strategic plan (Plan 2012) to address the dramatic situation now faced by the airline, with declining revenues, weak demand and mounting losses, as the negative performance of the economy has shown the measures taken so far to be insufficient.

The new plan calls for greater emphasis on the generation of revenues, cost savings and efficiency, improved service, and a shift in the airline’s approach to the short- and medium-haul segment.

Part of the plan will be the creation of a new airline to handle the airline's short- and medium- haul routes. The airline is currently in merger talks with British Airways , but now aims to focus on long-haul flights, “where Iberia is market leader, on those that connect Europe and Latin America, in order to maintain and increase this lead,” it stated.

The second part of the plan for operations requires a reduction in seat supply on short-and medium-haul routes, in addition to that already underway, and a change in the production model for these flights. This change will take full effect from 2011, when the airline plans to create a new network airline based in Madrid which will feed and distribute traffic to Iberia’s growing long-haul network.

The measures prescribed in Plan 2012 are aimed at bringing Iberia back to profitability. The company announced in August it had plunged into the red in the second quarter as the global economic crisis battered the industry, recording a net loss of $109.2 million.

Strike Plans

Because of the strike called by the CTA and SITCPLA cabin attendants unions, Iberia is canceling some flights scheduled for October 26-27, since they are not covered by the minimum services requirement established by Spanish authorities.

However, Iberia code series flights IB5000, IB8000 and IB7000, operated by Vueling, Iberia Regional/Air Nostrum and other airlines using Iberia codes, will NOT be affected. Flights to and from the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands will also operate normally, as will almost all Iberia’s long-haul flights.

Iberia customers with tickets for these days can visit the company's website to see if their flights are affected (there are listed in the order of the flight numbers).

Customers with Iberia IB075 tickets with stages of any flight taking place during the strike days may change or cancel their tickets without penalty, regardless of the fare. This does not apply to flights by other carriers using Iberia codes (IB7000 to 8999 and IB5000 to 5999) since, as mentioned above, these flights will operate normally.

Refunds and change of dates are allowed through November 15, and new tickets may be issued for travel until March 31, 2010. Changes of flying dates are subject to availability of seats in the same class and with the same fare as the original ticket.