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June 29 2023Back

Iberia celebrates its 96th birthday as one of the best airlines in the world, according to Skytrax

In the last year, the Iberia brand experienced the greatest revaluation in the tourism sector

Iberia celebrates its 96th anniversary as the fourteenth airline in the world and third in Europe, according to Skytrax. An anniversary that coincides with the change in the presidency of the company, now that the recovery of the airline is complete, at a time of solidity both in terms of customer experience and operation and financial results.

The Third Best Airline in Europe

According to the World Airline Awards ranking, compiled by the air transport site Skytrax, Iberia is the third best airline in Europe and the 14th in the world, an improvement of eleven positions from the previous edition of this ranking, when it was in 25th position.

These prestigious awards, which are considered to be the Academy Awards of Aviation, are based on more than twenty million surveys conducted with travellers of more than one hundred nationalities between September 2022 and May 2023.

This recognition endorses the work of Iberia, which, in 2022, was crowned the most punctual airline in Europe according to Cirium, while it has continued to renew its fleet with 13 latest-generation A350 and A320neo aircraft, and is implementing considerable improvements throughout its customers’ entire travel experience: new communication channels such as WhatsApp, more payment options, and significant improvements in the on-board service, ranging from the in-flight meals to entertainment options and free Wi-Fi on all aircraft and cabins, and an increasingly automated and efficient incident management system, among others.

In the Skytrax ranking Iberia was also recognised as having the Best Cabin Crew in Southern Europe. On 1 June the nearly 3,500 cabin crew working for the airline debuted a new uniform designed by Teresa Helbig, while also receiving training for "Everything starts with me", which integrates the changes in the new service on board and also the foundations for a cultural change towards greater customer focus, which unfolded in Iberia during the months when it was recovering from the COVID-19 crisis.

The Most Punctual Airline in the World in January and April

Iberia has continued working to reach the highest levels of punctuality. In 2022 it was the most punctual airline in Europe and, in the first six months of 2023, it was the most punctual airline in the world on two occasions (in January and April), according to the classification prepared by the international consulting firm Cirium-formerly FlightStats-, and the second most punctual in the world last February.

The Most Valuable Tourism Brand in Spain

In addition to the improvements in customer service and operations, Iberia obtained good results last year. The Spanish airline recorded a profit of €382 million in 2022, with all its businesses contributing positively. From January to March 2023, it recorded a profit of €66 million, the highest profitability level of the IAG group and a record figure in a quarter in which airlines do not usually make a profit.

According to the latest assessment by the international consultancy Brand Finance, Iberia is also the most valuable tourism sector brand in Spain. According to this classification, which assesses the brand of companies in their country and their contribution to the business itself, Iberia is ranked 22nd in the general ranking this year, with an improvement of ten positions compared to 2022, which is, in turn, one of the most positive evolutions in the ranking. Iberia renewed its brand in 2014 and since then has achieved sustained growth in brand value. Specifically, in the last year that revaluation has been close to 30%, according to Brand Finance.

Social Stability and 2,400 New Jobs

One of the factors that contributed the most to these achievements is the commitment of the airline’s staff.

In the midst of a highly volatile climate in Europe, which still persists, at the end of 2022 and in just four months, Iberia managed to reach agreements with all its groups -pilots, ground staff and cabin crew- with a guaranteed salary increase during the years of validity of the agreements, a range of productivity measures, and improvements in matters such as family-work balance.

In addition, to cope with the summer season’s extra activity for both Iberia and the airlines to which it offers airport services, the airline has hired 2,415 employees in different areas: 109 pilots, 1,714 ground agents at the twenty-nine airports where Iberia Airport Services operates, 442 cabin crew, and 150 maintenance technicians.

96 Years Connecting People

The incorporation of a Public Limited Company with the name IBERIA, Compañía Aérea de Transportes was formalised before a Madrid notary, with the purpose of “establishing and exploiting peninsular lines and mainly international air traffic” on 28 June 1927. The first president of Iberia was a businessman from Getxo (Bilbao), Horacio Echevarrieta, and the airline began operations on 14 December, linking Barcelona and Madrid with three Rohrbach Roland aircraft.

In the coming days, Javier Sánchez-Prieto will step down as CEO of Iberia, and will be replaced by Fernando Candela, the new CEO and executive president of Iberia, who faces the challenge of running the company "with great enthusiasm and a huge sense of commitment, knowing that I have the support of a great team with the best professionals in the aviation sector”.