Iberia does not see necessary a second airport in Madrid before the development of Barajas

The problems of air traffic control will prevent him from repeating as a more punctual airline

The president of Iberia, Luis Gallego, sees no need today for a second airport in Madrid, a project promoted by the company Air City Madrid Sur, considering that Barajas has “still enough capacity for the planned development”.

Gallego recalled that Barajas, where Iberia has its ‘hub’, still has space, both in T4 and terminals T1, T2 and T3, as to add additional capacity beyond the plan of development and expansion proposed.

“I do not know in the future,” Gallego said, questioning whether the private project based on the expansion of the Casarrubios-El Álamo aerodrome could hinder the development of Barajas, with a location 30 kilometers from the capital.

For Gallego what is a priority is to connect the Barajas airport with the AVE to be able to compete with other hubs in Europe, such as Paris, and attract more connecting travelers. This is vital for Iberia, given that 65% of its passengers connect from Barajas with its long-haul network.

On the airlift, he found that 10% of customers using the Madrid-Barcelona route use Iberia and Vueling indiscriminately, taking advantage of the flexibility of the new product, and that customers who fly during the day have grown by 4%, a market in which the share of the AVE with respect to the plane is 70% -30%.

Taking stock of the year of the NDC standard, which he promoted together with British Airways (BA) and which allows connection to travel agencies directly, through aggregators or from the IAG portal, it already has 641 agencies connected with 1,124 points selling.


Gallego has shown concern about the problems of air traffic congestion in Europe, given that if all airlines, including Iberia, maintain the expected pace of capacity could “collapse.”

In fact, Gallego has acknowledged that it will be “impossible” for Iberia to maintain its leadership as the most punctual airline in 2018 due to the impact of these problems, especially in France, although it aspires to be on the European podium.

In this regard, the president of Iberia has criticized that airlines pay for a control service that suffers constant interruptions and, they are not given, which causes delays in flights and involves compensating their customers.


The price of fuel, high competition and political instability in countries such as Argentina and Brazil are other challenges that the company has suffered, despite which it has grown by 7% in capacity during 2018. “We will finish this year in line with the budgeted and in line with our forecasts, “he said.

However, Iberia already has coverage for part of the fuel but with prices higher than the current ($ 60 a barrel). Regarding the ‘Brexit’, the company is working with the Government and the European authorities to avoid the effects of an exit without an agreement, in the event that it occurs, given that the regulations require airlines to have more than 50% of capital be European.


On a possible transfer of the headquarters of Iberia to the future airport city fruit of the ‘Real Estate Plan’ in Madrid-Barajas, Gallego has reiterated that it is one of the possible options on the table, once the rental agreement of the building ends today occupies, extended recently.

Iberia recalled that it has its own land in La Muñoza, in the polygon next to Barajas, which would be natural for its transfer, but is also willing to consider new land in the future development of Barajas.