Iberia To Grow Its Maintenance Facilities In Barcelona

While primarily committed to its central hub at Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport (MAD), Iberia says it is boosting its heavy maintenance business in Barcelona. In a statement released by the airline on June 11, 2021, Iberia says that it wants to further develop its maintenance presence at Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport (BCN).

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Iberia will use its Barcelona hangar to service Vueling planes. Photo: Getty Images

The Spanish national flag carrier says that the move is a part of its new business strategy to increase heavy maintenance work at its Barcelona base. By doing this, Iberia wants to show that it is committed to the Catalan capital’s major airport.

Iberia wants to help grow El Prat

By reinforcing its presence at El Prat, Iberia plans to provide highly skilled jobs that will help contribute to a greater reindustrialization of the airport’s area of influence. In other words, Iberia plans to help consolidate BCN into a major aeronautical hub.

  • Iberia will help contribute to El Prat becoming a major aeronautical hub.
  • Aircraft maintenance will be enhanced by building on its current C 1 capabilities with investments and back shops to allow Iberia to become a heavy maintenance provider at El Prat.
  • A team of more than 300 highly qualified professionals will help service Airbus A320 family aircraft.
  • Iberia’s commitment will be boosted by fellow IAG owned airline Vueling’s commitment to carry out its maintenance work at Iberia’s Barcelona hangar.

Vueling will service its aircraft at the facility

Iberia says that it will adapt its El Prat hangar with investment and build upon its current C check capabilities. C check is a thorough check of individual systems and parts for serviceability and function. It requires an extensive visual inspection of components and systems together with operational or functional checks. To help boost its heavy maintenance at Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport, IAG-owned Vueling has committed to having all its maintenance work carried out in Iberia’s Barcelona hangar.

Iberia Barcelona hangar
Iberia’s Barcelona hangar is called the “big smile.” Photo: Iberia

Vueling is a low-cost Spanish airline with hubs at Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport and Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport (FCO). By fleet size and the number of destinations, it is the largest Spanish airline. According to the aviation data and statistics website, ch-aviation Vueling’s fleet is made up of the following aircraft:

  • 6 x Airbus A319s
  • 76 x Airbus A320-200s
  • 25 x Airbus A32200neos
  • 18 x Airbus A321-200s

By developing its Airbus narrowbody maintenance facility at Barcelona Airport, Iberia will service IAG owned airlines narrowbody Airbus aircraft. The Spanish carrier also intends to promote the facility to other airliners in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.

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Four narrowbody planes

Iberia first built its Barcelona maintenance facility in 2010 adjacent to runway 20 at BCN. The hangar has a surface area of 13,200 square meters (142,083.62 square feet) on a plot of 24,000 square meters (258,333.85 square feet).

Known as the “big smile” because of its 40 meters high (131.23 feet) 200 meter long (656.16 feet) glazed shape, the facility has enough room to accommodate four narrowbody aircraft.

vueling to receive state-guaranteed funding
Vueling will have its aircraft serviced in Iberia’s hangar. Photo: Getty Images

Rather than further develop its main operating base at Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport, it is nice to see Iberia committing resources to Barcelona. You can be almost certain that it is being done on the back of a commitment from Vueling to have its 125 Airbus aircraft serviced at the facility.

What do you think about Iberia’s Barcelona expansion? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments.

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