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by Giuseppe TovarDecember 8, 2013

Iberia is a Spanish airline, founded in 1927 under the name of Airlines of Spain, S. A. It is currently one of the oldest airlines in the world, the fourth-largest airline in Europe by number of passengers and the airline is a leader in passenger traffic between Europe and Latin America. It has its headquarters in Madrid and traded on the Madrid Stock Exchange from April 2001 until January 2011, when it was replaced by its International parent company Airlines Group which was a product of the merger with British Airways in 2011, the current sole shareholder of the company.

Its main hub is the airport of Madrid-Barajas. In 2010, the airline made 89 million Euros in profit (compared to a net loss of 273 million € in 2009, 32 million € in 2008 and 327 million € in 2007, 56.7 million € of profit in 2006 and the 395 million € of profit in 2005. That same year it   transported 24.3 million travelers. The Airline Group flies to 108 destinations in 42 countries. On 12 November 2009, the airline confirmed that it had reached a preliminary agreement of understanding with British Airways to merge with it with the signature of a binding agreement, which only gave way when the value of the shares of British outperformed the airline’s. In April of 2010 the signing of the merger agreement took place. In July of 2010 the European Commission approved the operation. For its culmination, in November of 2010, the shareholders of the airline and British Airways gave the go-ahead for the merger, which was the last requirement necessary to carry out the merger of the two companies into one of the most powerful groups of the airline sector. The new holding company resulting, called International Airlines Group (IAG), is the third airline in the world by revenue (after Delta Air Lines and American Airlines). Currently, it owns two subsidiaries (the airline Express and Vueling Airlines) and a franchised company (Air Nostrum).

Founded the June 28, 1927, it made its first commercial flight between Madrid and Barcelona, on December 14, 1927. In 1939, the airline becomes a true international airline when it begins flights to Lisbon. In 1945, it started its flights to Buenos Aires, Natal and Rio de Janeiro. It was the first airline, after the Second World War, to provide regular services between Europe and South America. The first Madrid-New York flight was held on August 3, 1954. Five days later, the airline launched the daily service between the two cities with a Lockheed Constellation. On May 29, 1961, it receives the first of three McDonnell Douglas DC-8s that it will use on its long-haul flights from Madrid to New York, Caracas, San Juan, Mexico City, Havana and Buenos Aires. On October 22, 1970, the airline receives its first Boeing 747. In 1991, it introduced its loyalty program. In 1996, the airline is one of the first airlines to launch a web site, where it sells tickets directly. On September 1, 1999, it joins the global Oneworld airline alliance. On 3 April 2001, the privatization of the airline is completed. The airline celebrated in 2002 its 75th anniversary of its foundation. In 2003, it receives its first Airbus A340-60017. In July 2008, the company transported 32.5 million passengers to 109 destinations in 64 countries. By the end of July of 2008, it announced the possibility of a merger with British Airways. The November 12, 2009, more than a year after the first discussions with British Airways, the two companies advertise their merger. The new merged airlines are estimated to have a value of 7 billion U.S. dollars and thus will be able to compete with the European giant Air France-KLM.

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Giuseppe Tovar
  • Erik
    December 8, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    MAD-MEX-MAD. I chose Iberia for its true lie-flat seats, not the unacceptable slanted seats of other airlines which are impossible to sleep comfortably in. Also the directness of overall route (MRS-PVR). At 5’9”, I am perhaps shorter than average guy out there, but the seat was very comfortable. I can see, however, how the metal bar on leg extension could well prove uncomfortable for others who are taller, and who constantly complain about this on all airlines. I skipped dinner and slept 7 hrs on the outbound flight. The crew were very professional and pleasant. I took a return flight a day later and I chose not to sleep. I was grateful to have a sleeping seatmate who nonetheless appeared undisturbed by my using overhead light in preference of the too small, seat-attached reading light. The return crew were very pleasant, very attentive and extremely helpful.

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