Iberia is finally squaring up to its aggressive Spanish competitors by integrating the group's three main carriers.

The Spanish flag carrier has seen its domestic monopoly slip over the last three years as private operators Spanair and Air Europa started expanding into scheduled services.

But Iberia is finally starting to retaliate. As of 26 October, Iberia will integrate its own resources and schedules with those of its predominantly domestic subsidiary, Aviaco and its charter subsidiary, Viva Air, as well as franchise operator Air Nostrum, under one centralised operational holding (see p52). But the airlines will all be kept as legally separate operations, says Iberia pricing and yield management director, Felix Garcia Viejobueno.

The centralised unit will comprise commercial directors from each company who will assign aircraft, crew and scheduling to match individual route's needs. All revenue will be pooled back into the unit.

Iberia aims eventually to extend its brand, livery and image throughout the group. This move is currently being resisted by Aviaco's unions, which are currently in negotiations with management over the imposition of Iberia's lower working conditions. As a result Iberia will start by codesharing with Aviaco from July.

Iberia kicked off its reorganisation by formalising its franchise deal with Air Nostrum on 12 May. The airline's 400 weekly flights now operate under the Iberia code, livery and branding.

Further changes include handing over some low-density routes to Air Nostrum or other future franchisees and abandoning other routes to free up available aircraft. Viva's charter operations will be dropped if unprofitable.


Source: Airline Business