In March 2011, Group traffic measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometres rose by 8.8 per cent versus March 2010, capacity measured in Available Seat Kilometres was up 11.5 per cent. Taking account of disruption in March 2010, underlying traffic growth and capacity continue the same trend as February.
Group premium traffic for the month of March grew by 18.1 per cent compared to the previous year, with 6.7 per cent growth in non-premium traffic. We estimate that the recovery from strike disruption in March 2010 accounts for roughly half this month’s premium traffic growth: the underlying trend appears slightly better than last month.
The Spanish short haul market continues to be highly competitive. In addition, volumes in long haul markets from Madrid have not kept pace with capacity increases in the market this month and therefore for the quarter, although forward bookings for April and May are more positive.
IAG has reached agreement with Airbus to purchase eight A330-300 aircraft and options for up to eight A330 family aircraft for Iberia’s long haul fleet. The aircraft will be delivered between Autumn 2012 and Spring 2014 replacing up to 16 A340 aircraft.
The joint business between American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia now delivers more benefits to customers across the North Atlantic. From March 27, American Airlines and British Airways created UK-US transatlantic ‘shuttle’ services on top UK-US routes by aligning schedules between Heathrow and New York, Chicago and Miami, removing overlapping timings and providing a better spread of services.
British Airways launched flights from Gatwick to Marrakech in Morocco and San Juan in Puerto Rico, as well as changing Heathrow to Buenos Aires to a daily, non-stop service. Iberia launched three per week services from Madrid to Los Angeles and Barcelona to Miami.
Iberia Maintenance has converted an Airbus A330-200 passenger airliner into a Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT), equipped for mid-air refuelling for Airbus Military. It is the first time such a complex task has been performed in Spain and is part of the strategy of reorienting the maintenance business towards technologically challenging and high value-added activities.