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José María Alvarado, General Manager, Iberia Airlines

Mar 1, 2011
2011 / March 2011

What Is Iberia’s Growth Strategy In The United States?

The United States is Iberia’s main market overseas, and it is the focus of our growth for 2011. This year, we will offer almost 1.2 million seats between Europe and the United States, which is a quarter of our long-haul capacity. This represents a growth of 13 percent compared to 2010 in terms of available seats. Part of this growth comes from the opening of two new routes in late March — Los Angeles–Madrid and Miami–Barcelona, with three weekly flights each — and from increased capacity to Madrid from our existing gateways in New York, Chicago, Boston and Miami. Iberia offers an extensive network in Spain (37 destinations), Europe (38 cities), Africa and the Middle East.

What Was The Process Behind Choosing Los Angeles–Madrid And Miami–Barcelona As The Next Flight Routes?

Flying to the U.S. West Coast has always been in our plans. Our recently launched trans-Atlantic joint business with American Airlines and British Airways gives us the opportunity to finally start these flights. New codesharing opportunities among the three carriers and the strength of our joint sales force are just a few factors that will contribute to the success of the launch. In the case of the Miami–Barcelona route, there are important ties between Miami and the Spanish community, connected by our Miami–Madrid service since 1975.

What Can The Premium Traveler Look Forward To When Traveling On Iberia?

Iberia offers the premium traveler a modern and comfortable product and a broad choice of destinations. We have recently upgraded our Business Plus (long-haul) with seats that become fully flat beds and expanded the personal space to more than 86 inches between rows. We serve some of the best wines of any business-class cabin, many of which have received the highest Wines on the Wing awards from Global Traveler. Our wines, combined with our delectable Mediterranean-influenced meal options, make for a fantastic dining experience. In terms of destination choices, our clients have many seamless connecting opportunities from our U.S. gateways through Madrid to the major cities in Europe.

Tell Us About Your Career In The Aviation Industry.

I have been in this industry since graduating from college in 1992. I joined Iberia in 1999 as national corporate sales director, heading the largest commercial restructuring in the airline’s history. In 2003, as general manager I took on responsibility for the design and execution of Iberia’s overall commercial strategy in the United States. It is a great challenge, but I can count on the collaboration and support of my team. Our U.S. operation is now one of the most efficient, effective and strategically important in our network.

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