Iberia and Airbus have teamed up on an initiative to inject €11bn ($13.3bn) into Spanish aviation with the help of European funding. The project will see billions of euros invested into the Spanish aeronautical industry over a period of five years, with €4bn ($4.84bn) coming directly from Brussels.
Iberia and Airbus look to rejuvenate Spanish aviation
Spanish carrier Iberia has joined with Airbus on a project aimed at transforming the Spanish aeronautical industry. The initiative, also supported by low-cost carrier Vueling and aviation companies Aena and ENAIRE, looks to support the recovery and transformation of the industry in various ways.
- Sustainability: Developing sustainable fuels by promoting scientific discovery, infrastructure building, and funding new technologies. Around €1bn ($1.21bn) of funds will be allocated to sustainable aviation solutions.
- Fleet renewal: Roughly 50% of funding will be allocated to renewing the fleets of participating airlines (Iberia and Vueling). The plan is to reduce fuel consumption by 35%, which would amount to a saving of 10.5 million tons of CO₂ in six years.
- Intermodality: The project looks to increase Madrid Airport’s competitiveness on the global stage by investing in intermodality. This involves integrating other modes of transport, such as the high-speed AVE train, and focusing on autonomous electric vehicles and vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) for the future.
- Circular economy: A stronger focus on recycling and resource-efficient practices to reduce wastage. Implementing circular economy models that will coordinate airport authorities and airlines.
- Cargo terminal: A brand-new cargo terminal will be developed to rival the capacity of European heavyweights, such as Frankfurt and London. Multimodal connectivity will be encouraged with ports and other cargo hubs. Cargo operations will aim to increase traffic between Asian and Latin American hubs.
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Other details of the initiative
According to Spanish newspaper El Pais, the project seeks to establish “a more sustainable, digital, innovative and socially responsible model.” Special focus is placed on encouraging more collaboration between public and private entities, with state-owned railway companies Adif and Renfe rumored to be considering joining the project.
Details of the project have been presented to the Spanish Ministry of Industry. Total funding of €11bn has been touted, with project leaders looking to obtain €4bn in European funding. Other proposal ideas include establishing a technology university to encourage innovation and setting up professional training centers. The entire project will lead to the creation of around 10,000 direct jobs in the aeronautical industry.
There will be a particular focus on digital solutions in an ever-evolving industry. Funding will be used to modernize airspace management, integrate autonomous vehicles, implement robust cybersecurity systems, and explore possible applications of Artificial Intelligence. New training centers will be geared towards educating people of all ages. There will also be an effort to encourage more involvement of women in the industry.
Do you think this project is a good allocation of European funds? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.