- Presenting plan resting on these four pillars, with a short- and a long-term outlook.
- Customers: restore customers’ trust and build a reputation as ultra-safe against Covid.19, with the best services.
- Madrid Hub: recover connectivity and reposition its T4 hub as a stronger operator than other European airline hubs, driving the cargo business, plus inter-modality thanks to the new high-speed train link at Madrid Airport.
- Sustainability: improve efficiency of current operations and drive the development of sustainable fuels via the new Iberia Chair at Madrid’s Polytechnic University.
- Employees: encourage and empower them to become brand ambassadors to customers.
In the framework of this year's Madrid FITUR travel trade fair, Iberia today unveiled its “Next Chapter” four-year plan, with an initial short-term focus on emerging from the Covid-19 crisis, followed by longer-term efforts to return to the ranks of the world’s leading airlines.
The four pillars of the Next Chapter Plan are to maximise customer confidence, develop the Madrid huband connectivity within Spain, ensure future sustainability across the board, and make its employees brand ambassadors.
Restoring Customer Confidence
In past months Iberia has been reopening its operations and taking measures to restore customer confidence in air travel:
- Through exhaustive health and hygiene measures which won the airline a 4th Skytrax star as secure against Covid/19.
- Giving customers access to pre-flight Covid-19 tests (some 25,000 to date), plus new apps for digitising and storing certified test results, such as the contactless IATA Travel Pass, which Iberia has tested on flights between Europe and Latin America.
- Giving customers more latitude to cancel or change travel plans without penalty, while also maintaining the pre-pandemic status of Iberia Plus loyalty programme members.
- Instituting a stable flight programme, initially limited a limited one to maintain a minimum of connectivity between Europe and Latin America, but now expanded in preparation for a full recovery.
Powering the T4 Hub and Spain’s Connectivity
For this summer season Iberia’s ambitious new flight programme will take it to a record 114 destinations, including three new ones: the Moldavian capital Ljubljana, the Maldives islands in the Indian Ocean, and Portugal’s Azores archipelago in the Atlantic. The Maldives route is already so popular that Iberia today announced that it has raised flight frequency to three per week.
For the longer term, Iberia plans to strengthen its Madrid Airport T4 hub and connectivity within Spain, while building its air cargo business. Meanwhile, the new AVE high-speed train link to Madrid airport will initially deliver up to 500,000 air passengers per year. Iberia has set its sights on repositioning its hub as one of Europe’s best connection points to Asia, while bringing higher-revenue tourism to Spain.
Ensuring Future Sustainability
The third pillar of the “New Chapter” plan is to ensure the future sustainability of the airline in every possible way. During the pandemic Iberia took measures to preserve its treasury, cut costs, ensure liquidity, and protect employment.
The pandemic led Iberia to speed up the retiring of its Airbus A340/600 fleet, replacing it with environmentally cleaner Airbus A350s. It now operates one of the world’s youngest long-haul fleets, and in the past 10 years it has cut atmospheric CO2 emissions per passenger by 15%, aiming to reduce this by another 10% by 2025.
The airline has helped fund the Iberia Chair at Madrid’s Polytechnic University to engage in research and development of more sustainable aviation fuel to bridge the gap until aircraft can be powered by hydrogen. It is also working on a new waste management system for its long-haul flights.
Employees as Brand Ambassadors
Iberia’s staff abundantly proved their loyalty and commitment to the company during the pandemic, as well as their adaptability. The “Next Chapter” plan calls for additional training in company values and customer care to prepare them to act as genuine ambassadors for Iberia.