Iberia's Expansion in Latin America: Focus on Mexico and Beyond
Iberia, the Spanish airline, has a specific project focused on growing the contribution of all the markets in Latin America, making this region a key piece in the company's strategy, according to Marina Colunga, Commercial Director for Latin America at Iberia. In an interview with A21, Colunga highlighted that Mexico represents the country with the highest contribution in the region. As part of the company's strategy to strengthen its projects, they are betting on significant growth in Mexico, with almost 700,000 additional seats in 2023, translating into three daily frequencies.
The expansion project of the Spanish airline in Latin America covers not only the number of seats or passenger traffic, but also brand positioning, the impact on local economies, continuous improvement, and fleet renewal. To achieve this, Iberia operates A350 airplanes on routes to Mexico, which are more efficient, profitable, and have more seats. These measures are expected to exceed Iberia's revenues, sales, and penetration before the Covid-19 pandemic in 2019, by the end of this year.
During the pandemic, Iberia, like many other players in the tourism sector, was affected; however, they took advantage of the contingency period to reorganize and restructure their business. They also focused on being an ally, with repatriation flights and flights to transport health aids, vaccines, and essential materials between routes.
Historically, there has been a large volume of corporate business between Mexico and Spain, Mexico and Europe, but the demand for leisure travel has accelerated. The advantage of keeping borders open with Mexico was a key factor in the success achieved. Furthermore, the profile of the traveler has changed, with a mix of business and leisure. As a result, services and offers were adapted and readapted to meet the needs of this new profile.
One of the new changes implemented was the inclusion of three cabins on their planes: economy, premium economy, and business, allowing Iberia to cater to all three market segments and offer added value to travelers. Mexico is the Latin American destination with the most flights per week, and Iberia is working on a collaboration agreement with Viva Aerobús to connect the City of Mexico with the rest of Mexico.
According to Colunga, Latin America is a powerful and optimistic region, and during the summer, Iberia will increase frequencies in Bogotá, Colombia, Lima, Peru, resume frequency in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and add Sao Paulo. Chile is a market with great potential, and Argentina as well. In Colombia, they plan to add a third frequency, but not every day. The goal is to close the year with three flights per week, just like in Mexico. In Peru, there will be two flights per week.