Spanish national flag carrier Iberia is busy celebrating a successful holiday season. In a statement released on January 12, 2022, the Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport (MAD)-based airline said that between December 22 and January 9, it and Iberia Express and Iberia Regional Air Nostrum operated nearly 5,700 flights, almost 75 % more than in 2020.
Over Christmas and New Year, Iberia has operated with a regularity of 99.4% and an average punctuality of 93.5%, the best in Europe among network airlines. Compared to the same period a year, earlier Iberia Airport Services tripled the number of passengers served while hiring around 1,000 temporary workers.
Iberia Express was the big winner
One of the big successes for Iberia was its services to the Canary Islands, with Iberia Express selling 180,000 seats. The figure represents a 4% increase in 2019s capacity before the pandemic. Praising its workforce, Iberia says that according to statistics, it was the most punctual airline in Europe and the third globally with no canceled flights over the holidays.
While also this year facing the challenge of having to renew its licenses at Spanish airports, Iberia’s handling business handled 3.1 million passengers on 11,200 flights. This figure represents triple growth when compared to the same period during 2021/2021.
Iberia was especially pleased with the results
Iberia says it was especially pleased with the results given the current concerns over the highly contagious Omicron variant of COVID-19, which is doing the rounds. Many other airlines worldwide are suffering staff shortages due to employees staying home after becoming infected. Last week, Finnish national flag carrier Finnair said it was canceling 20% of its flights in February due to employees calling in sick.
For this reason, Iberia said in the statement that it would like to thank its employees for the commitment, dedication, and professionalism that they have shown over the Christmas period. By performing their duties, millions of customers have been able to reunite with their families over the holidays.
Iberia Morocco repatriation flights
In other Iberia, related news, the airline has arranged four special repatriation flights for Spanish citizens and residents to be able to leave Morocco. Following a global surge in infections brought about by the Omicron variant of COVID-19, Morocco suspended all international flights until January 31, 2022.
The first flight from Casablanca to Madrid departed on January 7, with a further three flights now scheduled for the 14th, 21st, and 28th. Iberia says all the repatriation flights will be operated using Airbus A320 aircraft with a capacity for 140 and 200 passengers, depending on the model. Iberia says that passengers who were previously booked to fly to Spain in January from Casablanca, Marrakech, or Tangier can rebook on the new flights without any charge by calling Iberia in Morocco +212 520 426 053 or in Spain 900 111 500.
During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Iberia has flown more than 70 repatriation flights while working closely with the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the European Union. Iberia transported people home from more than 20 countries, including places the airline does not usually fly to, such as Australia, the Philippines, and Nepal.
What do you think about Iberia’s strong Christmas travel season? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments.