Iberia Starts Flying Spanish Athletes To Japan

As the 2020 Tokyo Olympics prepare to get underway next week, Spain’s national flag carrier Iberia has flown the first Spanish athletes to the Games. Deploying an Airbus A330-200 for the nearly 13-hour flight, Iberia on Thursday transported 130 athletes and officials to Japan. Iberia flight number IB6081 departed Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport (MAD) at 16:55 and landed at Narita International Airport (NRT) at 13:04 local time.

Iberia A350-900
Iberia will fly Spanish athletes home in an A350-900. Photo: Iberia

A second widebody flight is scheduled for this afternoon to carry more athletes and members of the Spanish delegation. As the official and exclusive airline of the Spanish Olympic Committee and the Olympic and Paralympic team, Iberia hopes to transport the country’s sporting stars and their medals back home after the games.

Airbus A350 to bring the athletes home

Scheduled for August 9, Iberia will deploy its most significant modern aircraft, the Airbus A350, for the journey home. According to the aviation data and statistics website, ch-aviation Iberia currently has nine Airbus A350-900s in its fleet and a further 11 on order with the European planemaker. Iberia’s A350s are configured in a three-class layout that comprises 31 business class seats that convert into lay flay beds, 24 premium economy recliner seats, and 293 standard economy seats.

Iberia Starts Flying Spanish Athletes To Japan
The flight to Japan takes nearly 13 hours. Image: RadarBox.com
  • Iberia is the exclusive airline of Spain’s Olympic Committee and the Spanish Olympic and Paralympic Teams
  • Iberia will transport the Spanish delegation and athletes to the games
  • Iberia is launching a special campaign to highlight how hard the Spanish athletes have trained for the Games
  • Terminal 4 will host an exhibition of the unusual objects used by these athletes to train during the COVID-19 lockdown

Rumba video to support the athletes

Iberia has published a rumba video on all of its social media channels in a move designed to help support the Spanish athletes and their quest for medals. Created by the music producer Javier Limón and sung by Montse Cortés, several Olympic and Paralympic athletes and some of the Games’ journalists have participated in the video. Iberia says that the song is a tribute to the athletes and journalists who have traveled a long distance to participate in the Games.

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Iberia has always supported Spanish sport

When speaking in an Iberia statement about Iberia’s support for Spanish athletes, Iberia’s Corporate Manager Juan Cierco said:

“The Olympic Games are the first major world sporting event since the outbreak of the pandemic, and the first opportunity for fans around the world to witness such an event.” He added, “The Games will be a shot in the arm to boost morale, and Iberia will take a very active part in this great fiesta.”

“Iberia has supported Spanish sport since its founding 94 years ago this month, and once again has been designated the official airline of the Spanish Olympic and Paralympic teams, flying them to the Games and back to Spain, hopefully with a lot of medals,” says Cierco.

Worries remain

As athletes start arriving in Tokyo ahead of the Games, which run July 23 through August 8, an unidentified visitor from overseas has tested positive for COVID-19 at the Tokyo Olympics athletes’ village.

Spain Olympics
Iberia has a long history of supporting Spanish athletes. Photo: Iberia

Public opinion in Japan about the Games taking place is lukewarm at best, with people worried that the country is opening itself up to a resurgence of new infections. Olympic committee organizers, however, are not worried, saying that around 85% of all those taking part are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

What do you think about Iberia’s support for Spain’s Olympic athletes? Please tell us what you think in the comments.