Archive for the 'Iberia' Category

Mexicana To Join oneworld in 2009

oneworld and Mexicana logos (by oneworld.com)

This week the oneworld airline alliance has announced on its annual meeting of the Governing Board that Mexicana Airways has accepted their invitation to join the alliance, together with its subsidiary Click Mexicana also to join as an affiliate member.

The integration process is to take about 12-18 months that allows for a full membership sometime in 2009, with the prime sponsor being Iberia while secondary sponsor is American Airlines. The announcement came at the annual meeting held in Los Angeles, where Mexicana is the biggest non-US carrier using LAX as their biggest hub outside of Mexico.

With the alliance’s existing members serving 11 points in Mexico, its addition will expand to more than 130 points throughout Latin America and to 35 points in Mexico only, which is the world’s 11th most populous country, the 12th biggest economy and the seventh most popular tourist destination, attracting more than 20 million foreign visitors a year.

Globally, its addition will expand the alliance’s network to approaching 700 destinations in nearly 150 countries, with a combined fleet of 2,350 aircraft operating almost 9,500 flights a day, carrying 333 million passengers, with annual revenues of US$100 billion. Mexicana operates a fleet of 62 aircraft – 30 Airbus A320s, 20 A319s and ten A318s, and two Boeing 767s – making 300 departures a day. Mexicana offers two classes – Executive and Economy – with in-flight entertainment screens throughout the fleet and complimentary in-flight meals and drinks in both cabins. It has the two-letter airline code MX. Click Mexicana operates 18 Fokker 100s, making 115 departures a day. Its single cabin offers a “coach plus” style of service, with leather-covered seats at a 35 ins (89 cm) pitch. It offers complimentary in-flight drinks and snacks. Click Mexicana has its own flight code (QA) but all its flights also carry Mexicana’s MX code under a code-sharing agreement.

Mexicana boarded 9 million passengers in 2007, with Click Mexicana carrying another 2.2 million. Between them, they employ 6,725 staff.

Mexico City – the world’s second most populous metropolis – is the airlines’ main hub, with Cancun and Guadalajara secondary hubs.

Mexicana has signed a contract to move its main IT platforms to Amadeus Altea – alongside oneworld partners British Airways, Finnair, Iberia, LAN, Malév Hungarian Airlines and Qantas, with Cathay Pacific also committed to transfer to this provider soon.

by balint01

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Best Of AirlineWorld 2007

This is the last day of the year. As billions of people around the world, we also took a look back to what happened in the old year and made some New Year’s Resolutions.

For us 2007 was not a full year as we started our blog in June. It was a nice calm Sunday and Szafi wrote her first post about the Radio Alphabet – a useful tool not just for aviation fans. Balint01 joined her on the 7th with his first post about “Fuller Planes – Good Or Bad?” – a brief explanation of revenue and capacity management of airlines.

A380 

A380 was one of our main topics this year. We could see the a video of an imaginery evacuation of an A380, we reported on that quite unusual initiation that Singapore Airlines sold the first tickets to the A380 on e-Bay and gave the money (USD 1,25 million) for charity. We tried to find out more about the possible cabin configurations and then we reported on the first delivery.

Boeing 787

Boeing 787, the Dreamliner was our other favorite topic. We wrote about it when it was revealed, we put it in our blog header, we reported on the first announcement of delay that predicted 2 months. Now it seems that a 6-month delay is more realistic.

Developments 

Besides A380 and B787 we saw the birth of a Russian jet called Sukhoi Superjet and a Chinese one called ARJ21-700. We kept track of technology trends in aviation. We wrote an article about RFID usage at airlines and airports, about e-ticketing, a new online payment method at Qantas, a weightless flight, a solar powered, unmanned aircraft. Also we were interested in service developments such as the new Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at London Heathrow Airport, Lufthansa’s new A380 First Class Concept, Boeing’s 747 development to keep up with A380,

Crashes 

Unfortunately again some serious accidents happened. We saw around 200 people dying in a very tragical crash in Sao Paulo, brazil. 19 people died in an accident of Air Moorea on the way to Tahiti. When China Airline’ 737 burst into fire and blew up, everybody could escape in time thanks to the flight crew, who was criticized for being rude – we thought it was better being rude than being inactive. Later it turned out that a loose bolt caused the fire. There was a sad collision of two planes at an Air Show in Radom, Poland. SAS Airlineshad a bad series of crash landings – without serious injuries – of its Dash 8 turboprop planes. Finally they decided on grounding all their Dash 8 fleet. 87 died in One-Two-Go Airlines crash in Phuket, Thailand. A few days later rallye driver champion Colin McRae died in a helicopter crash over Scotland. The most commented article was the weird accident of an Airbus A340 on the ground of the Airbus factory during testing. The last serious accident of the year was an MD-83 crash in Turkey killing 56.

Photo reports 

We received a lot of photos from our friends and airline enthusiasts, so we could show a photo report of a Royal Aircraft in Budapest, Red Bull Air Race in Budapest, an Air Show in Kecskemet and the A340 Airbus crash at the Toulouse Airbus factory.

Innovations 

We criticized airlines and other players of the industry about wrong steps and we were happy to present good initiations of other players. We found KLM’s promotion: a gift of a costmetics set for online bookers a very smart and useful initiation. We loved Iberia’s enviroment-friendly attitude with naming their new aircrafts Royal Owl, Imperial Eagle and other endangered species. We could read funny comments about an interesting topic: Vatican’s Air Mistral. IATA’s initiation of a greener aviation industry was also worth a post.

Sex and rock and roll 

And finally we tried to entertain those not interested in professional matters of the airline business with articles like Sex in an airplane, Sexy stewardess uniforms – with special attention to the self-designed uniform of Easyjet, Superstar pilots, Special aircraft paintings and we learned about where lost luggage end up going.

We also lost a very key figure of the European airline indusry. Tony Ryan, the founder of Ryanair died on 03 October at the age of 71. Net year we will definately write an article about him, because only a few know about his role in today’s aviation business.

And what is our New Year’s resolution? Well, we’ll do our best to entertain you and draw your attention to the magic world of airlines we so much love.

We both wish you a very happy, successful new year and please keep on reading us! 🙂

By Szafi and balint01

Iberia Airbus Slides Off Runway At Quito

EC-JOH slid off the runway at Quito - by airliners.net 

On  Friday, 09NOV2007, an Iberia operated Airbus A340-600 has slid off the runway in Ecuador at the Quito Airport and caused the airport to be shut down for two days. Arriving from Madird, at 17:06 immediately after touching down the aircraft overran the runway and came to a still in the soft terrain, where it is still standing after two days. According to the Aviation Safety Network’s preliminary report: “The A340 suffered one or more tyre bursts on landing at Quito (UIO). The aircraft overran the runway and came to rest tilting to the left with nr.1 and 2 engines touching the ground.” Such accidents happen every once in a while, but we have seen that they can turn out much worse as in Sao Paolo a few months ago for example.

Fortunately nobody was hurt, all 349 passengers and crew escaped woundless. When I saw the pictures, my first thought was that just in less than a year I have flown the same type of aircraft with Iberia, and when looking at the name just on the side of the cockpit, I realized that it was this same aircraft that took me back from Lima, Peru to Madrid last December… It is a very strange feeling to know that the plane which I once flew in my life and is registered as EC-JOH and named “Miguel de Unamuno” has been involved in such an incident…

At the moment there are only indications as per what really caused the accident, some comments on the internet praise the pilots that they managed to save such a situation without anybody getting hurt, while others blame them for the accident. Only investigations will tell, but I feel sorry for this beautiful bird to damage one wing, three of the Rolls-Royce engines plus basically most of the landing gears including the nose. It will be a big management and technical task to repair it on site by Iberia as I’m afraid Quito lacks the necessary infrastructure for such a repair. The terminal is also operating under some restrictions since the ILS antennas were destroyed and replacement will take 15 days (ILS – Instrument Landing System).

This picture from a different angle shows just how close to residential areas were to this accident…

Iberia EC-JOH in Quito - by Reuters

A slideshow with more onsite pictures on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqfQAm-iyJI

by balint01

New Meal On Iberia Flights

In Iberia’s intercontinental Business Plus class the airline has turned again to master chef Sergi Arola to design the gourmet meal service.

Clients flying Business Plus from Spain can enjoy the offerings from a completely new menu, and taste new dishes made from original recipes and ingredients of the highest quality.

A “wholesome choice·” with extra protein

New meal on IB flights

The gourmet meal service on Business Plus allows passengers to choose among three main course options –meat, fish, or a “wholesome choice” based on a selection of vegetables with extra protein in the form of delicious cured Iberian ham, cuttlefish, and large prawns.

After the main dish, diners are offered a plate of the best traditional Spanish cheeses made with milk from goats, sheep, or cows.

For those who fancy a sweet, the award-winning pasty chef Francisco Torreblanca has designed new and original desserts using careful selected ingredients.

To help cheese the right wine to accompany the gourmet in-flight meals, Iberia again called on wine experts TodoVino, which renews our wine list every three months with vintages from Spain’s principle wine regions –two whites, two sparkling cavas, and three reds, one of them the monthly recommendation of TodoVino’s chief sommelier Custodio L. Zamarra.

By Szafi

Air France-KLM Preparing Bid For Iberia

Following earlier indications by British Airways, who are joining a consortium to bid for Spanish Flag-carrier Iberia, Air France-KLM has yesterday admitted that they are preparing to launch a bid for Iberia together with several Spanish companies, Madrid’s Expansion newspaper reported. The consortium likely would include investment firm Torreal and publishing house Grupo Planeta, which currently is the largest shareholder in Vueling Airlines (a Spanish low-cost). The AF KLM offer would keep 51% of Iberia in Spanish hands, allowing it to maintain its traffic rights for non-EU and US routes. In recent weeks, as Airlineworld has reported as well, AF KLM Chairman and CEO Jean-Cyril Spinetta has stated several times that the group is “studying” the Iberia dossier, while admitting that they will be open to Alitalia as well, would the Italians decide to talk to them.

British Airways is also planning a potential merger with Iberia though a consortium which would also probably leave 51% in Spanish ownership for the same reasons (flight rights) as AF-KLM.

It is really interesting to follow this story, that includes several players: Iberia – the bride, with fellow oneworld member BA and bigger rival AF-KLM in the role of the potential grooms! But knowing that AF-KLM is also considering proposing to the ripped-off Italian girl: Alitalia if she would express her interests… What a love-circle! 🙂

by balint01

Air France KLM Adds Alitalia As Potential Merger Target

Air France KLM Logo Air France KLM has once again admitted their interest in Iberia and Alitalia, which airlines are basically on sale. Iberia, the Spanish national carrier is profitable, but the shareholders wish to find a new owner to protect the company in the long run, while Alitalia has been making losses for long decades by now, and the government is forced to sell it, basically under any circumstances.

Air France KLM wants to grow, and now emphasizes it once again. They are already the biggest European carrier, but they want to move forward and wish to become a major driving force behind the ongoing consolidation of the European Airline Market.

Iberia logo Air France KLM Chairman and CEO Jean-Cyril Spinetta yesterday said in an interview with the Financial Times, that they are indeed studying a potential merger with either Alitalia or Iberia. He said AF KLM has held “informal” talks with potential Spanish financial partners (see earlier report by Airlineworld), though it is not yet in official discussions with Iberia. The cooperation with Iberia would be a little more complicated, but the Spanish carrier is in good financial shape at the moment, and is the leading airline between Europe and South-America. AF KLM are one of the leading members of the SkyTeam alliance, while Iberia is a founding member of oneworld. How they would solve this situation, is not yet known, it is probably one of the major issues in the ongoing evaluations. According to Spinetta: “We are in the phase of evaluating the potential for cooperation with Iberia.

Alitalia logo He explained that AF KLM declined to participate in the failed auction earlier this year for the Italian government’s stake in Alitalia because it did not believe the terms and conditions set for the sale were viable. But the situation has changed with the appointment of a management team led by Maurizio Prato, who initiated a new restructuring effort, which includes cutting back traffic at Milan-Malpensa hub, and has been asked by the government to sell the state’s 49.9% stake, he said.

If Mr. Prato wants to talk to us, we will listen carefully,” Spinetta said. “He has a clear mission to sell this stake, but how he sees this problem I don’t know.” He added that “the Italian market is very strong. There are huge business traffic flows and tourist leisure flows. The potential is very high.” And knowing that both airlines being members of SkyTeam, the traffic integration would not be that big of an issue in this case, but the financial situation is the one that would easily give a headache to AF KLM. Now, that several privatization attempts have failed for Alitalia, AF KLM may be in a better (and stronger) position to discuss a possible solution face-to-face with Alitalia, and Mr. Prato.

by balint01

Iberia Helps Peru Earthquake Victims

Site in Pisco after the 2007 Peru Earthquake - photo by Telegraph.co.uk

August 15, 2007 18:41 local time: the date of a deadly earthquake with an epicenter in the Pacific Ocean, just off the coast of central Peru, South of the capital, Lima. The towns most hit by the 8.0 magnitude earthquake were Chincha, Ica, Canete and Pisco. Having visited Peru about 8 months ago, I have passed through Ica and Pisco on our bus-ride from the Nazca lines back to Lima, so it was especially saddening to hear the news about the earthquake. I find it interesting how you are moved more by events happening at a place that you have visited before. I think that’s part of the reason why September 11 really shocked the world, as so many people could connect the pictures with their personal memories/experiences about NYC… But back to the earthquake: besides about 30.000 families left homeless due to their traditional adobe-brick homes having been collapsed, more than 500 people are reported to be dead, 200 of them in Pisco alone, where the main Catholic church collapsed while a mass was taking place. Even in Lima (home to 8 million people), which is about 150 kilometers North from the epicenter 2 people died when many of the buildings shook. (Reuters Photo gallery about the earthquake.)

Many organizations began to help almost immediately, among them the UN, the Lutheran World Relief, OPEC and also an airline: Iberia. Iberia is famous for focusing on routes between Latin America and Europe, so it’s understandable that they moved soon to help the victims at one of the countries served by the airline. A total of 30 tonnes of humanitarian aid is planned to be shipped by the Spanish member of oneworld in the coming days, the first portion included 10,000 kg on the flight on 22AUG taking off from Madrid at 12:40. I took the exact same flight (IB 6651) before Christmas, which was an A340-600, that is capable of carrying some 55 tones of payload, so the 10 tones should easily fit in the belly of the plane. But where is all this aid coming from? According to Iberia: The aid was contributed by individuals and numerous Spanish firms and organisations, including Farmamundi, an NGO that distributes pharmaceuticals to developing countries; the Fundación Coca-Cola, supplying isotonic beverages; Panaderos sin fronteras (“Bakers without Borders”); the cheese company Quesos Campo Real which is sending nutritionally enhanced cheese; Europac, the largest packaging firm on the Iberian Peninsula, which supplied 150 packing cases to ship the air materials, and whose employees supplied another 150 cases. The shipment was collected and coordinated by Iberia and “Mano a Mano,” and which also contributed aid materials. (Mano a Mano is a relief organisation founded by Iberia employees in 1994 to collect and deliver relief and aid materials to countries and regions in need which are served by the airline, using empty hold space and unused flight crew baggage allowances.) The first air shipment also included food rations, especially infant food, drinking water; water purification equipment, medicines, especially for bronchial illness, blankets, sleeping bags, and long-life battery lamps. Another 20,000 kg of aid will be sent in later shipments in Iberia’s cargo holds.

It’s good to know that in general airlines tend to provide aid or material help (mostly cargo hold or free seats for rescue workers) in such situations, like Iberia did this time to ease the terrible situation in Peru.

by balint01


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