Iberia Rules Out Using AIFA Due to Lack of Connectivity; ‘It’s Not a Whim’


The Spanish airline Iberia has ruled out using the Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AIFA) in the near future. A spokesperson for the company explained that the air terminal in Santa Lucía does not meet the connectivity needs expected by their Mexican and foreign customers, so they will maintain their operations in Mexico City.

In an interview with EL CEO, Juan Cierco, corporate director of Iberia, explained that the flights they currently maintain with the Mexican capital have optimal levels and a substantial flow of connections in alliances with other national airlines. For this reason, he ruled out starting any frequency within AIFA.

“For the moment we remain focused on operations at the Mexico City International Airport. We are very satisfied with that route,” said the executive.

AICM is Key for Connections and Alliances

The Iberia executive said that the connectivity of AICM is key to the company’s operations. He highlighted that it is one of the airline’s international destinations, whose three daily frequencies transported more than 700,000 passengers in the last year.

In this regard, he elaborated that they have a strategic alliance with the Mexican airline Viva Aerobus, which allows them to expand their list of destinations in the Mexican Republic. In addition, they maintain another agreement with Aeroméxico that interconnects flights between both companies.

Due to both agreements, Iberia seeks to remain at the airports most used by these Mexican airlines. And, although Aeroméxico and Viva Aerobus already have a presence at AIFA, it is a priority to remain at the Mexico City International Airport to facilitate operations, Cierco explained.

“It is absolutely key for us to work with the airlines with which we have alliances in Mexico, otherwise the alliance would make no sense,” mentioned the director.

Avoiding AIFA is Not a Whim’: Iberia

The corporate director of the airline also explained that the capital’s airport is an important point for both national and international passengers. Because, apart from the agreements it operates, he identified that there are interconnections to other parts of the world within the same terminal.

“It’s not that Iberia has a whim (not to use it). It’s to benefit the experience of Mexican, Spanish, and European passengers. It’s a commitment to providing better service to our customers,” said Cierco.

Cierco explained that passengers arriving in Mexico City have the ease of taking other flights within the same Terminal 1 of the Benito Juárez airport; or, with the proximity to the operations of Terminal 2. He highlighted this fact as a great attraction for Iberia’s flights, which would be lost if they transferred frequencies to AIFA.

Mexico-Madrid Route Operates Since 1950

The Iberia route that connects AICM with Madrid-Barajas Airport has been in place since 1950. It is one of the initial frequencies to Latin America proposed by the airline and, although it was not exactly the first, it gained importance until it became the most important international destination for the company, alongside Bogotá, Colombia.

Iberia operates the Mexico-Madrid flight on an Airbus A350, which the airline itself defines as ‘a modern and efficient aircraft.’ This is the largest plane in the company’s fleet and has the capacity to transport almost 350 passengers in three different categories.

The company performs 3 daily frequencies and moves 2,000 passengers per day, according to data provided by the executives.

Source: El CEO