Spanish carrier Iberia has announced cuts as part of its Transformation Plan to focus on strategic and profitable routes.
Last month Iberia’s parent company IAG said the carrier was losing €1.7 million per day, with Iberia's CEO Rafael Sánchez-Lozano admitting that the airline was in a “fight for survival” (see online news November 9).
Iberia has now confirmed it will drop routes to Athens, Istanbul and Cairo from mid-January, followed by long-haul services to Santo Domingo and Havana from April 1.
In a statement the carrier said that the “new policies are crucial for returning the airline to the black and maintaining its market leadership”.
It said it would “improve connections for long-haul flights, offering one or two daily frequencies”, with increased capacity on flights to destinations including Brazil, Mexico, Miami, Central America, Chile and Ecuador, and increased seat supply on services to London, Casablanca, Algiers, Dakar, Nouakchott and Malabo.
Iberia said it was dropping the “mainly holiday travel routes” from Madrid to Athens, Cairo, Istanbul, Santo Domingo and Havana, stating that the destinations “can be reached directly from Spain by other airlines”.
It added that San Juan will be offered via Miami, and Montevideo “via other Iberia destinations in the region”.
Iberia said it would “be flexible with customers holding reservations or tickets for flights on the routes to be dropped”, with full refunds or alternative travel on other carriers being offered, such as Vueling to Athens, Egyptair to Cairo, Turkish Airlines to Istanbul, and Air Europa to Santo Domingo and Havana.
CEO Rafael Sánchez-Lozano said that the routes being dropped were “the biggest loss makers, where we have no chance of turning a profit under current conditions”, adding that “Once we are able to restore competitiveness to the airline, we will carefully look at these routes to see if we can pick them up again”.
For more information visit iberia.com.
Report by Mark Caswell