Posts Tagged 'Iberia'

Iberia Airbus Slides Off Runway At Quito

EC-JOH slid off the runway at Quito - by 

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:

by balint01

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

Iberia Helps Peru Earthquake Victims

Site in Pisco after the 2007 Peru Earthquake - photo by

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 – The Best Airline Website 2 amadeus logo

First of all, let’s make it clear: there are many-many different awards in the airline industry, given by different magazines, industry players and other organizations, so each year almost every airline could be holding the “Airline of the Year” award and it would be totally legally fair. So you should always read the notice at the bottom of the page in small letters about the giving organization/magazine, category, etc. (“CSA: the best Airline” – *by the World Airline Awards, in the Central-European Airline Category, “Malév: the best Airline” – *as voted by the readers of the travel magazine Global Traveler, in the Eastern/Central European Airline Category, etc., etc.)

So you should always look and read twice before you base your next flight decision purely on such an award. But it’s much easier and carries much less risk to look at different airline websites and see for yourself which one you like the most.

The Interactive Media Council Inc. (a non-profit organization of leading web designers, developers, programmers, advertisers and other web-related professionals) has established The Interactive Media Awards to recognize the highest standards of excellence in website design and development. The judges provided by the Council judged across five key criteria: Design, Content, Usability, Feature functionality and Cross Browser compatibility. scored 482 out of 500 possible. This means 96.4%, which is a very good result in itself. We don’t know how much the other participants have scored, but this is very impressive. This score entitled Iberia to take home the award in the Travel Airline Category. And as we should judge a website based on its main profile, it sounds fair that it was competing with other airline websites from all around the world and came out as winner! (and it’s not such a category as “best airline website in South-Western part of Europe that uses both the red and the yellow colors”…)

In case of an airline website you always have to mention the service provider, as the IT solution behind such a front-end is very complicated and the performance of a website (especially the booking engine, but other informational parts as well, such as schedule) is highly dependant on the service provider behind it! Iberia (as many other leading airlines and basically all airlines in the oneworld alliance of which Iberia is a member of) has teamed up and cooperated with Amadeus. Actually the Amadeus e-Travel Airline Suite – aka Planitgo (for internet solutions) is used by over 70 of the world’s leading airlines to power over 250 websites in more than 80 markets. So chances are good that you have already booked an airline ticket over the internet, using an Amadeus solution.

After a quick look at I have found that you can only choose those countries, where Iberia operates a flight, but they do not offer an “International” or “Europe” version of their website, which is a common solution around the industry. Otherwise we have found it nice and easy to use at first glance. However, please note that we plan to conduct a review of some of the biggest airlines’ websites, so please add our blog to your RSS reader, to be among the first ones to read it!

by balint01

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