Iberia Líneas Aéreas de España

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Iberia logo
Iberia Airbus A350-941XWB
IATA code : IB
ICAO code : IBE
Call sign : IBERIA
Founding: 1927
Seat: Madrid , SpainSpainSpain 
Turnstile :


Home airport : Madrid-Barajas
Company form: Sociedad Anónima
IATA prefix code : 075
Management: Luis Gallego ( CEO )
Number of employees: 22,500
Sales: 5.5 billion euros
Passenger volume: 24.3 million (2010)
Alliance : Oneworld
Frequent Flyer Program : Iberia Plus
Fleet size: 83 (+ 37 orders)
Aims: National and international
Website: www.iberia.com

Iberia Líneas Aéreas de España SA Operadora, usually Iberia for short , is the largest Spanish airline based in Madrid and a hub at Madrid-Barajas Airport . It is part of the International Airlines Group (IAG) and a member of the Oneworld Alliance .



Iberia was founded on June 28, 1927 with a share capital of 1.1 million pesetas provided by a Spanish investor and the then Deutsche Luft Hansa ( DLH ) . DLH was very interested in the Iberian Peninsula as part of its planned flight connection to South America . After the Paris Aviation Agreement was concluded in May 1926, the route to Spain via France was open for DLH . Negotiations on the establishment of a Spanish company with a Spanish consortium were concluded as early as October 1926.

The company now known as Iberia was able to start business in mid-1927. The German Reich concluded at the end of an air transport agreement with the Spanish government in order to secure the route rights for the planned transport to South America. This agreement dealt with through-flight and landing rights, especially in the Azores , the Portuguese Cape Verde and the Canary Islands . However, technical difficulties with the Dornier Do R and Romar flying boats intended for traffic delayed the start of traffic. Iberia was able to start the route between Barcelona and Madrid on December 14, 1927 with Rohrbach Ro VIII chartered by DLH . From January 1928, however, Spain could be connected to the DLH flight network by extending the Stuttgart - Marseille to Barcelona route , even though the Iberia was stopped again at the end of 1928. The Iberia traffic was carried out from December 14, 1927 to December 31, 1928 on the Barcelona-Madrid route. After initially working on weekdays, the flight density was already reduced in February 1928. The chartered five or six Rohrbach Ro VIIIs were returned to the DLH in April and May 1929, with the exception of the M-CCCC which crashed in April 1928 .

In these years Iberia was completely dependent on Deutsche Luft Hansa, both technically and organizationally.

1937 to 1944

An Iberia Douglas DC-4 in the 1950s
A Sud Aviation Caravelle operated by Iberia in the 1970s
An Iberia Douglas DC-8-52 , 1972
An Iberia Boeing 747-200 , 2001

At the beginning of the Spanish Civil War , most of the aircraft operated by LAPE , the Spanish national airline, were on Republican territory . The four LAPE planes, which had come into nationalist possession, were used as liaison and travel planes for Franco and his generals, so that air traffic in the national zone was not possible, also due to a lack of pilots.

Iberia still existed when the civil war broke out and still had the necessary concessions. Its director at the time, Daniel de Araoz, turned to Deutsche Lufthansa with the request to establish domestic Spanish air traffic in the national zone. Although it is nowhere noted, it can be assumed that both Germany and national Spain had given their consent to this step. The nationalists were interested in fast connections within the country because of the war, as the earthbound traffic was partially disrupted by the destruction of the war and due to the course of the front. The German side won through the service of the DLH a demand on the national, which they could pay with raw materials and food. The empire was particularly interested in this because of its own lack of these goods.

On August 16, 1937, DLH opened the Vitoria - Burgos - Salamanca - Caceres - Seville - Tétouan route , which connected northern Spain with Spanish Morocco. The track machines from Germany landed in Burgos, so that there was a connection to the DLH service. The traffic was operated by DLH aircraft with German personnel, the only Spaniard in the service of Iberia was Director Araoz. From April 19, 1938, Las Palmas was also included in the Iberia route network. At the end of the civil war, the route network covered 4500 km, twelve airports were served.

On July 1, 1939, Iberia acquired the seven Junkers Ju 52 / 3m , which had operated the domestic Spanish air traffic, from Lufthansa. The start of the war resulted in the unfortunate situation for the DLH that Iberia could no longer pay the purchase price, which was to be paid in monthly installments of 40,000 RM, due to the limited exchange of goods between Spain and the Reich. After Lufthansa had submitted a report to the Spanish government in August 1939 on the development of domestic air traffic, the question of nationalizing Iberia arose. This came into force on June 7, 1940. The interests of DLH were fully satisfied with this solution. She received 800,000 Ptas for her share package, the Spanish government entered into Iberia's liabilities to DLH in the amount of 1.14 million Ptas. a.

Between August 1937 and June 1940, Iberia flew 3.8 million kilometers and carried 64,000 passengers and 590 tons of freight and mail. A total of eight Ju 52 / 3m with civilian license plates that began with M- were used. A Ju 52 / 3m was badly damaged and retired on March 29, 1939.

After Iberia was merged with SAETA , a new company founded in 1939, on November 22nd, 1940 , DLH withdrew its remaining staff. Iberia's capital was divided into 51% held by the Ministerio del Aire, 24.5% for DLH and 24.5% for Ala Littoria . But this had no interest in it and ceded its rights to Spanish citizens. This Spanish side consisted of two private individuals who took over the shares as front men for DLH, so that Lufthansa's real stake was 49%. In this way, DLH succeeded in gaining decisive influence over the management of Iberia. DLH did not participate in foreign currency , but with four brand-new and two used Ju 52 / 3m, which were delivered in 1941 and 1942. In the course of the war, the Allies used the blocking of the delivery of aviation fuel to remove the influence of the DLH on Iberia. Iberia's flight operations had to be drastically reduced in 1941 and 1942. In March 1943, Iberia was forced to cease all traffic until DLH agreed to sell its shares on August 7, 1943 to the Spanish Ministry of Industry, INI. Since the DLH suffered from a considerable lack of aircraft, two Ju 52 / 3m Iberia were chartered for the first time in 1942, and another Ju 52 / 3m in 1943. One of the Ju 52 / 3m was destroyed in an Allied air raid on Stuttgart on August 9, 1944.

After the DLH had sold its stake to the Spanish government, the Allies allowed the export of gasoline again in November 1943. However, a new embargo had already come into force in February 1944 , which was supposed to cause Spain to stop exports of tungsten to Germany. After a compromise with the Allies, supplies were finally normalized in July 1944. With the relaxation of relations between the Allies and Spain, an air connection to Madrid became interesting. Since Spain was officially neutral, only the British Overseas Airways Corporation ( BOAC ) could be considered for this task. The negotiations meant that the route from the United Kingdom via Lisbon to Madrid could be flown from October 23, 1944. On the Lisbon-Madrid section, the BOAC flew in competition with Lufthansa until April 1945.

1950s to 1990s

The headquarters of Iberia in Madrid
Several Iberia aircraft at their home base, Terminal 4 of Madrid-Barajas Airport

In 1960 Iberia put its first jet aircraft, a Douglas DC-8 , into service. Iberia later became the largest operator of the Boeing 727 and the first operator of the Douglas DC-9-32 in Europe.

In 1972 Iberia joined the ATLAS consortium and subsequently worked with the airlines Air France , Alitalia , Lufthansa and Sabena on the maintenance of wide-body aircraft and the training of crews .

The logo, which was used until October 2013, was introduced in 1977 on the occasion of Iberia's 50th birthday and represents the abbreviation IB with the Spanish crown in the upper part of the I. The company colors combine parts of the colors of the Spanish flag with the image of Spain as a country with a lot Sun again.

A fleet renewal program with 22 Airbus A320-200s and 24 McDonnell Douglas MD-87s was initiated in the early 1990s . In the latter model, Iberia was the world's largest operator. The Boeing 757 followed in 1993 and the Airbus A340-300 from 1996 , which has since replaced the Boeing 747 .

In March 1999 the subsidiary Viva Air and in September 1999 the airline Aviaco including its fleet were integrated, whereby Iberia also became an operator of the McDonnell Douglas MD-88 .

Development since 2000

Economy class on board an Iberia Airbus A330-300

In June 2003, Iberia became the second European airline to take over the new Airbus A340-600 . In 2004, Iberia closed its hub in Miami . It responded to the introduction of a visa requirement for transit passengers in the USA and has been flying to destinations in Latin America from Madrid since then.

On February 6, 2007, the Spanish banks Caja Madrid and BBVA announced that they would sell their shares in Iberia. At the end of the year, Caja Madrid took over the shares of Logista and BBVA and became the majority shareholder of Iberia with 22.99%.

In March 2008 British Airways increased its stake in Iberia from 10 to 13.15%. On July 29, 2008, Iberia and British Airways announced that they were negotiating a merger of the two airlines. On November 12, 2009, British Airways and Iberia announced the merger to become the world's sixth largest airline. The merger has a financial volume of 7 billion US dollars and was on 21 January 2011 with the entry in the commercial register completed. The parent company is the new International Airlines Group .

In October 2011 the founding of the low-cost airline Iberia Express was announced, which took over four aircraft and some routes from the parent company from Madrid on March 23, 2012 and has grown gradually since then. The creation of Iberia Express sparked protests.

In November 2012, Iberia announced the cut of 4,500 jobs. On February 18, 2013, the ground and cabin crew called for a five-day strike in the dispute over a restructuring plan, which now included 3800 job cuts and wages. On March 27, 2013 Rafael Sanchez-Lozano was replaced by Luis Gallego, the boss of the low-cost airline subsidiary Iberia Express . The Spanish government had previously appointed an arbitrator. Significantly fewer jobs should be cut than originally planned and the wage waiver should be lower.

In spring 2013, Iberia received the first of eight Airbus A330-300s that replaced some of the Airbus A340-300s . For the first time, they are equipped with in- flight entertainment in economy class. The A340-600 will be retrofitted. In August 2013, IAG announced options for 32 Airbus A350-900s and twelve Boeing 787-9s in order to renew the long-haul fleet. In October 2013, Iberia presented a new corporate design .

In September 2014, Iberia converted eight options for the Airbus A330-200 into orders to replace part of the A340. At the end of 2014, IAG announced that the turnaround had been achieved at Iberia and the airline was making a profit again.


Iberia flies to over 100 destinations in 43 countries. Long haul traffic is heavily focused on Latin America. Iberia serves 17 destinations there and also offers a further 35 cities in code sharing with their local partners; destinations in North America as well as Africa and the Middle East are also offered. In North America, for example, Miami , Boston , Washington, DC and Los Angeles are served. All long-haul flights depart from Madrid-Barajas.

In Germany Iberia flies to Düsseldorf , Frankfurt am Main , Hanover, Stuttgart, Berlin, Munich and Hamburg, in Austria to Vienna and in Switzerland to Geneva and Zurich .

As part of a franchise agreement , Air Nostrum operates regional and feeder flights with smaller aircraft under the name Iberia Regional Air Nostrum and serves Madrid and other airports in Spain. The parent company IAG has a 90.51% stake in Vueling , which has taken over many Iberia routes from Barcelona, ​​where Iberia is now only present with a few routes.


An Iberia Airbus A320-200
An Iberia Airbus A340-600

Current fleet

As of April 2020, the Iberia fleet consists of 83 aircraft with an average age of 10.1 years:

Aircraft type active ordered Remarks Seats Average age

(April 2020)

Airbus A319-100 11 122
14.8 years
Airbus A320-200 14th 171
13.3 years
Airbus A320neo 6th 12 Appointment of the International Airlines Group - open - 1.2 years
Airbus A321-200 11 200 17.0 years
Airbus A321neo 4th 232
Airbus A321XLR 8th Appointment of the International Airlines Group - open -
Airbus A330-200 12 three operated for LEVEL 288 3.6 years
Airbus A330-300 8th 278 6.7 years
Airbus A340-600 14th Replacement by A350-900 and A330 342 13.8 years
Airbus A350-900 7th 13 First delivery on June 26, 2018; 16 originally ordered, 4 more will be taken over from Aer Lingus' order 348 1.1 years
total 83 37 10.1 years

Other aircraft are operated by Air Nostrum as Iberia Regional and by Iberia Express .

Former aircraft types

Iberia's Fokker F-27 Friendship
Fokker F28-1000 Fellowship of Iberia, Alicante 1971

Iberia previously operated the following types of aircraft:


Douglas DC-3, of which a total of 8 crashed at Iberia
Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation from Iberia, identical in construction to the planes that crashed in 1960, 1961 and 1965
Iberia's Convair 440 Metropolitan, identical in construction to the aircraft involved in the accident in 1962 and 1965
A Douglas DC-9-30 from Iberia (1978), identical to the one that crashed on March 5, 1973
The Boeing 727
EC-CFJ crashed in Madrid in 1983
The Airbus A-340-600 EC-JOH crashed in Quito in 2007 while being scrapped
The MD-88
EC-FPD that crashed in Vienna in 2008

Iberia recorded a total of 38 total aircraft losses from 1939 to July 2020. These included 14 accidents with a total of 600 fatalities. Examples:

  • On December 23, 1948, a Douglas DC-3 / C-47 (EC-ABK) collided with a mountain near Gandesa en route from Madrid to Barcelona , killing all 27 people on board.
  • On October 28, 1957, another Douglas DC-3 / C-47 (EC-ACH) had an accident . It crashed near Getafe on the way from Tangier to Madrid when one of the engines caught fire and then detached. All 21 people on board died.
  • On April 29, 1959, another Douglas DC-3 / C-47 (EC-ABC) collided with a mountain on the way from Barcelona to Madrid. At the time of the accident, the weather was bad on the route. All 28 inmates were killed.
  • On March 6, 1961, a Lockheed L-1049G Super Constellation Iberia crashed (EC-AIP) at the airport Congonhas ( Brazil ) in strong downdrafts short of the runway to the ground and caught fire. All 46 occupants, 10 crew members and 36 passengers survived.
  • On March 31, 1965, Iberia lost another Convair CV-440 (EC-ATH) on its flight from Malaga to Tangier Airport . On the approach there was a stall and crash into the sea 18 kilometers west of the destination airport for unknown reasons . Of the 53 occupants, only three surviving passengers could be rescued from the sea.
  • On September 16, 1966 had one of Spantax operated for Iberia Douglas DC-3 / C-47 (EC-ACX) shortly after the start of Tenerife because of an engine malfunction in the sea ditched be. Of the 27 people on board, 26 were able to save themselves from the slowly sinking machine; one passenger refused to disembark (see also Iberia flight 261 ) .
  • On November 4, 1967, a Sud Aviation Caravelle (EC-BDD) had an accident on the way from Málaga to London . The pilots fell below the minimum flight altitude in light fog and drizzle for unknown reasons. The plane eventually collided with buildings and vegetation, killing all 37 people on board.
  • On December 28, 1972, an Iberia (EC-BVC) Fokker F28-1000 crashed on a training flight at Bilbao Airport . After a warning about asymmetrically extended landing flaps, a landing was carried out with the flaps retracted, in heavy rain and a tail wind. In addition, it was touched down late, so that the machine rolled over the end of the runway and got into bumpy terrain, where it broke into three pieces. All four pilots (the only occupants) survived.
  • On December 7, 1983 , a Boeing 727-200 from Iberia (EC-CFJ) and a rolling Douglas DC-9-32 from Aviaco (EC-CGS) collided at Madrid-Barajas Airport , and their pilots hit the active runway in the fog were rolled. 93 people were killed in the accident, 51 of 93 in the Boeing 727 and all 42 on board the Aviaco aircraft. As a consequence of this accident, all Spanish airports, in particular Barcelona and Madrid, were redesigned so that crossing an active runway is no longer necessary.
  • On February 7, 2001, an Airbus A320-200 (EC-HKJ) with 143 passengers had an accident while landing at Bilbao Airport . During the final approach, the aircraft got into severe turbulence and heavy winds, so that the pilots wanted to initiate a go-around maneuver. However, due to a concatenation of the various circumstances and a design error, the angle of attack protection system was activated. This prevented the pilots from pulling the machine up so that it crashed onto the runway at a rate of 6 m / s (1200 feet per minute), causing the nose landing gear to collapse and irreparable damage to the seven-month-old machine.
  • On November 9, 2007, an Airbus A340-600 coming from Madrid with the registration number EC-JOH slipped over the end of the runway when landing on the Aeropuerto Internacional Mariscal Sucre in Quito, which is considered difficult . All 359 occupants survived, but the aircraft, which had just been delivered a year and a half earlier, was so badly damaged - including two of the engines that were torn down - that it was scrapped on site a few months later. The airport has now been closed and replaced by an easier one to fly to.
  • Iberia's last loss of an aircraft for the time being occurred on July 31, 2008. The left engine of a McDonnell Douglas MD-88 (EC-FPD) failed during take-off from Vienna-Schwechat Airport . While working through the checklists while returning to the airfield, the pilots discovered that the left main landing gear was not locked according to the display. When landing, the open landing gear flaps dragged across the runway; the aircraft was damaged beyond repair. Contributing factors to the accident were a number of maintenance errors.

See also


Web links

Commons : Iberia  - album with pictures, videos and audio files
 Wikinews: Iberia  - in the news

Individual evidence

  1. FlugRevue February 2009, pp. 28–33, Europe's bridge to South America - IBERIA strategy for 2009
  2. Iberia Group Presentation (ppt)  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Retrieved January 14, 2012.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / grupo.iberia.es  
  3. Annual Report and Accounts (PDF) International Airline Group. 2016. Retrieved October 16, 2016.
  4. Working Committee of the Supervisory Board, December 15, 1926, p. 2, BA Berlin, inventory "Deutsche Bank"
  5. Working Committee of the Supervisory Board, 6th meeting, August 6, 1927, BA Berlin, "Deutsche Bank" inventory
  6. Traffic management, operational notices for the month of December 1927, BA Berlin, inventory “Deutsche Bank”
  7. Traffic management, operational notices for the month of January 1928, BA Berlin, inventory “Deutsche Bank”
  8. ^ Mulder, Rob: Iberia and the Rohrbach Ro VIII Roland I, Internet: www.europeanairlines.com.
  9. Inventory lists DLH 1928 and 1929, DLH archive Cologne
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  12. Volkmann, Hans-Erich: The Nazi economy in preparation for the war, in: Deist, Wilhelm et al. (Ed.), The German Reich and the Second World War, Volume 1: Causes and requirements of German war policy, Stuttgart 1979, p. 177-370, p. 317 ff.
  13. Iberia: Hace 50 Años, p. 1
  14. Quarterly Report II / 38, p. 4, BA Berlin, inventory “Deutsche Bank”
  15. Accounting Commission May 22, 1939, p. 6, BA Berlin, inventory “Deutsche Bank”
  16. ^ Annual report DLH 1939, p. 12, DLH archive
  17. Quarterly Report IV / 39, p. 7, BA Berlin, inventory “Deutsche Bank”
  18. Quarterly Report II / 40, p. 10 f., BA Berlin, inventory “Deutsche Bank”
  19. 1938 + 1939: List Iberia, undated, DLH archive; Post and 1937 + 1940: Supervisory Board reports 1937-1940, Bundesarchiv Berlin, holdings "Deutsche Bank"
  20. According to Davies, REG: The World's Airlines, London 1964, appendix, passenger kilometers: 1940: 19.1 million, 1941: 0.8 million, 1942: 0.6 million, 1943: 5.8 million (Figures for Spain and Portugal together)
  21. Iberia, 50 años
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  23. Iberia, hace 50 anos, p 2
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  31. Iberia cancels 1200 flights in 5 days. In: Spiegel Online. February 18, 2013, accessed August 16, 2017 .
  32. Iberia boss resigns. In: manager magazin. March 27, 2013, accessed August 16, 2017 .
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