Buenos Aires, 21 Nov (EFE) .- The Spanish airline Iberia announced today that it will offer three more flights on the Madrid-Buenos Aires route from November 2018, until reaching 17 weekly frequencies, and that, also next year, will incorporate the Premium Tourist class to travel to the Argentine capital.
During a press breakfast in Buenos Aires, the president of the company, Luis Gallego, recalled that Latin America is the "reason for being" of Iberia because there it has deployed 50% of its capacity and placed special emphasis on the role of Argentina, the first country in the region they started flying, 71 years ago, and in which they have the "vocation to continue growing".
In an interview with Efe after the presentation, Gallego highlighted that this increase in frequencies has some relation with the arrival of Mauricio Macri to the Argentine Presidency, in December 2015.
In that sense, he assured that he has noticed an attitude "very positive" from the Government, "to generate demand and give facilities to companies" so they can "develop" their business.
"Yes we are noticing that this opening translates into new opportunities for us, "he said.
As of the end of March, Buenos Aires will become the fourth destination in Latin America -after Mexico City, Bogotá and Lima- that will offer the Premium Economy class, launched by the airline six months ago and which, according to Gallego, "is halfway between tourist and business" and will give customers "greater space and greater comfort "that the first but without the costs of the second.
On the other hand, in statements to Efe, Gallego valued the arrival in the southern country of Level, the new low-cost airline and long travel of the IAG group operated by Iberia with flights between Barcelona and Los Angeles, San Francisco, Punta Cana and Buenos Aires.
"We are happy to see how the low fares are stimulating the demand "with" this new operating model "for which" we are billing a client who previously did not fly with us ", which is that of people under 35, said before pointing out that of the three frequencies operated by Level in the Argentine capital in June, they have already passed five.
Likewise, he emphasized that the 90th anniversary of Iberia, which celebrates this 2017, coincides with a positive stage, since in 2016 they recorded an operating profit before exceptional items of 271 million euros.
"The most important thing has been the change of a 2012 where we had doubts that the company was going to move forward to a company in which we are already in black numbers and approaching the objectives established by the group ", celebrated.
" We have transformed Iberia and we are the most punctual company in the world in 2016, something that our clients asked us ", to which" all the investment in product, in the cabin, in reconfiguration and in connectivity ", which, in his opinion," is making the level of customer satisfaction at historic highs ".
As for the jobs that have been sacrificed during this process - around 4,500, the president of the airline said that there was "conflict" at the beginning but insisted that after the agreement reached in 2014 with employees, the company has been able to develop and recover lost destinations.
Likewise, he made reference to the new regulatory dossier of Employment (ERE) signed in September and which can be accommodated, voluntarily, up to 955 workers of the land collective through incentives, early retirement, relocation deferred and temporary reduction of working hours.
"It is voluntary for both parties: it has to interest the worker and the company, the conditions are good and we are adjusting well the template to what we need to have market productivity, "he said.