After long ups and downs, Iberia hopes to take a big step in the purchase of Air Europa and manage to enter the company with 20% of the shareholding.
As this newspaper already announced, the flag carrier already has the 'ok' from the ICO and the SEPI to transfer to Globalia a loan of 100 million that they hope to exchange for that percentage of participation in six months., once they have the positive opinion of the competition authorities of Spain, the United Kingdom and Germany. An entry, with which Iberia will be able to be present on the board of the Balearic airline, but "it will not enable us to influence the management of the company", the president and CEO of Iberia, Javier Sánchez Prieto, assured this Thursday during the presentation of the transformation plan of the IAG subsidiary.
"We will continue working to get 100% of Air Europa," said the CEO of Iberia.
The company has presented its transformation plan for the next three years. A project that is based on debt reduction and cash strengthening, after two years of pandemic where the fall in demand has triggered the airline's liabilities (together with Vueling they received a loan of 1,100 million from the ICO ). To this end, Iberia will focus on renegotiating contracts with suppliers and reducing fuel costs, which represent a third of the company's costs.
The president and CEO of the company, Javier Sánchez Prieto, has stressed this point, “at a time when fuel prices are very high. n the first quarter they have shot up 20% for all the airlines of the IAG group ». To resolve it, the manager also once again called for the implementation of the single European sky, in order to "develop more efficient flight plans." Something that could mean "between 8% and 10% fuel savings and, therefore, less CO2 emissions into the atmosphere."
In any case, Sánchez Prieto assures that despite fluctuations in fuel prices, "we have 78% of fuel covered for the third quarter, 65% for the last quarter and 25% for next year." And he assures that price increases will not have a significant effect on tickets. “Our idea is to remain flexible. There is a lot of competition and we always have to have adjusted prices”.
Boost the cargo business
The other great pillar within the plan of the Spanish flag carrier is to promote the hub of the Adolfo Suárez-Madrid Barajas airport. The commitment is to continue developing the maintenance and airport businesses and take advantage of the logistics development of Barajas, to promote the cargo business.
But they are not the only axes on its roadmap. The company not only expects to return to profitability this quarter, but is already looking for ways to increase it. They hope to do so by boosting the average profit per passenger. Something they will do by focusing on the premium passenger. “We have very high occupancy levels in this segment, but we are still 30% below pre-pandemic corporate travelers, although they are recovering faster than expected.”
Together with this plan, the company has commissioned a report from PwC to calculate the economic impact on Spain as a whole. A study that estimates that the airline directly, indirectly and induced generates more than 9,300 million euros to the Spanish GDP (0.6%) for its own activity, for payments to suppliers (indirect), for the families linked to Iberia (induced) and for the more than seven million tourists that the airline brings to Spain each year. Which translates into more than 160,000 jobs in Spain directly and indirectly, 0.9% of jobs in the entire country.