Spain is a land of Quijotes, great heroes capable of the most remarkable acts, full of honour and elevated feelings, but also a land of betrayers, ready to sell even the family to get a portion of power or a bag of money. Just like Audax, Minuros and Ditalcon did in Roman times, killing Viriato, the Iberian hero.
In the long, long history of Spain, this Kingdom has always been enriched by the countries and civilizations which it has conquered and viceversa, but there seem to be two exceptions to that rule (France and England). History is full of examples of how negative relations with these nations have been to the Spanish interest. We are reminded of it every day by that ridiculous patch of land in the very south of Spain: Gibraltar.
Spain had to watch how the pirates, financed and supported by the Royal Government, destroy Spanish maritime commerce.
This prologue illustrates what it is happening with Iberia and the creation of the new Iberia express. Could it be another story of British abuse and Spanish betrayers? The future will give us the answer, but what we have now is some significant data to think about.
Today wars are not like in the past. Wars now are commercial and have many consequences in the countries and people affected. In this context Iberia is not just another company, it is a historic symbol of the Spanish economy and the flagship of Spanish air transport.
The story of the almost centenarial company which bears the name of the land of Viriato, could have a certain parallel with the story of the hero betrayed by three of his soldiers. There is sufficient data to prove that Iberia has been sold to the advantage of British Airways, with no apparent reason, so: in exchange for what? Who is the real beneficiary in this operation?
I recommend reading the report of Dr. Francisco Javier Antón Burgos from "Universidad Complutense de Madrid":
From this report we can extract some key data:
- In 2009 Iberia and BA are two independent airlines in Oneworld alliance. Iberia is a profitable company and BA has a delicate financial situation.
- The new Madrid T4, paid with Spanish public investment, allowed Iberia to consolidate its Madrid hub and to expand its operations as the main operator in that hub. At the same time BA had exhausted its expansion possibilities because London Heathrow hub had no more slots available
- With the situation described above, at the end of 2009 both companies sign the merger agreement, that in fact is a sales agreement because from that point onward BA would have 55% of the new IAG company and 7 of 13 members of the board, giving BA control of the company.
- On 6th October 2011 Iberia Express is announced as the new low cost carrier. Low cost implies that personnel will have lower levels of contracts. Meanwhile BA maintains the status of its personnel.
- Since the “merger” BA has increased the traffic to Spanish airports by 23% while Iberia has lost 15% in the same time.
- Iberia has ordered 8 medium body planes while BA ordered 36 wide body which gives an indication of the expansion plans in the long range routes.
- Iberia has not contracted any pilots in the last 9 years while BA expects to hire 800 pilots by 2016.
The conclusion of the report and the future situation expected by 2015 would be something like this:
- Iberia will lose Cargo and Long Range passenger transport to BA
- Iberia will only keep low cost regional passenger transport (Iberia Express) and Maintenance Services
The initial Iberia Company founded in 1927 will finally disappear, Iberia Express will have to fight and survive in the difficult market of low cost in Europe, while BA keeps and expands its privileged status in the long range market.
So, once more, it appears that someone has cheated the Spanish army and someone is playing the role of Viriato’s betrayers.