All posts by A.Natalías



“This is something we’ve wanted to do for years and now it’s done!”, enthused Amancio Fernández, Iberia’s Ramp Operations Manager at Madrid-Barajas Airport. “It wasn’t easy, but at last we can show off our new ramp training centres”, echoed his opposite number at Bacelona-El Prat, Alberto Díaz. As we witness the first training exercise, Amancio and Alberto direct the first cargo loading and unloading activities with the ground equipment and containers that are customarily used for real operations. “All that’s lacking is an airplane,” Amancio said.”

At the Madrid-Barajas training centre, a section of an A330 (registered as EC-FDB) is used, and in Barcelona custom-designed model built by the Comanche company does the job Both stand at the actual height of a real aircraft, and allow trainees to practise loading in number 5 and aft cargo holds.

The models are a response to a request from our ramp crews in a recent survey of the working climate. They said it made sense to practise on dummies before performing the tasks on actual aircraft.

“It’s not easy to operate ground equipment, like platforms and conveyor belts,” explained Óscar Rojano, a ramp supervisor and training coach: “Being new and working on a real airplane can be very stressful. Using this model is going to help a lot in training our new staff.”

Jorge Sanz Calderón, Operational Safety specialist at Madrid-Barajas, agrees. “Using the model as our training centre allows our trainees to practise again and again until they feel confident about positioning the equipment. Meanwhile we can teach them the best practices and explain the different procedures, such as  safety stops and equipment guidance”. His opposite number in Barcelona, Rosa Baños, said the opportunity to practise afforded by the dummy aircraft section “completes the training that begins with theory and ends with the practical, always under the watchful eye of a monitor”.

The Iberia departments that worked together to develop the training scheme in Madrid were Madrid-Barajas, Fleet Planning and Management, and Technical, with the cooperation of AENA, Spain’s airport and air traffic authority. In Barcelona the task fell to Ramp Operations Management and its safety team. Daniel Durán-Cantero, Operations Control and Optimisation Manager at Madrid-Barajas underlines the “the cooperation of the Technical and Fleet Planning departments was vital”..

The initiative comes within the framework of the overall plan to improve training as a way of maximising airport safety, while ensuring our clients of the highest service quality, and making the workplace safer for all.



Iberia Airport Services continues to win new contracts to provide handling services to outside companies in Spanish airports. We are now serving Swiss, one of the airlines in the Lufthansa Group, at Bilbao airport.

Iberia’s handling arm began to serve Swiss on 1 November, under a contract that covers some 185 flights per year.

Meanwhile, the contract to serve Lufthansa itself in Bilbao was renewed for another five years. The renewal fortifies commercial relations with this historic European airline, and covers more than 2,300 flights per year.

In both cases, full handling services will be provided, from check-in and boarding to the delivery of checked luggage, as well as loading/unloading as well as coordinating refuelling and cleaning tasks.



Last 21 September saw the launch of the new Airports Safety Training Plan, an ambitious programme developed by the areas of Training and of Knowledge Management of Iberia’s Human Resources Division, plus the training area of the Airport Services Division and Airports Human Resources.

The presentation of the “Advanced Safety” plan was attended by the operational safety managers of Spain’s nine busiest airports along with 22 members of the nine airport safety teams. This meeting was one of several initiatives for increasing safety on airport ramps.

The meeting was divided into four parts:

  1. A talk by the Innovation Team: “Driving the Culture of Safety”
  2. A talk about “Preventative Workplace Safety”
  3. Presentation of a new on-line training scheme aimed at underlining the most important everyday airport operational safety concerns.
  4. A talk about skills development: “Communicate in order to Achieve”.

 

Deployment of On-line Training

The previous on-line training scheme has been replaced by a new model that is more digital, visual, intuitive, dynamic, and interactive, using a mix of elements to help consolidate knowledge.

The new digital format is aligned with Iberia’s company-wide digital transformation, in which the Airports Division is taking part via its  Go-up! Project under the directives of the new e-learning training model. Marta García-Miranda, chief of Training and Knowledge Management, comments, “We are opting for a new way of learning in which the employee can experiment and learn from case histories and experiences similar to those that arise routinely,” adding “We are changing the traditional model of e-learning, which was very tedious for the user, for a more interactive and visual one.”

Sonia Alfonso, from the Airports Innovation Team, opened the session with a review of all the steps taken so far this year and all the actions making up the Safety Plan in terms of communications: “The campaigns and messages that made up our ‘safety causes’ each month, our first idea contest, the monthly questionnaire about safety concepts that we call ‘wiki.safety’, the new safety information supports, etc. We launched this plan in December under the theme ‘With your five senses’, and then applied this mantra in concrete messages, focusing on the most critical aspects so that safety can be our way of working, the only way to approach ramp operations”. Sonia said ramp staff are “a key element in the implementation of safety culture, as people who identify 100% with this aim and this philosophy”.

The day also included a talk by the Airport Services Division’s Workplace Safety Risk Prevention Manager, Silvia Santiago, who stressed the importance of using individual protective gear to avoid accidents. She also encouraged all participants to get involved with accident prevention issues.



Iberia Airport Services (IBAS) has signed a new contract to provide full handling services to Swiss, a Lufthansa Group subsidiary, at Bilbao airport, while renewing its contract with all Lufthansa Group airlines at the same airport.

The contract with Swiss will cover some 185 flights each year.

The handling division’s contract with both Lufthansa units in Bilbao has been renewed for five years, and covers approximately 2,300 flights each year

According to IBAS Chief Ángel Marcos, these developments constitute “a show of confidence and a sign of our company’s prestige in the handling sector.”

Lufthansa Group airlines have signed up for full handling services including passenger and ramp services, baggage and freight, aircraft refuelling and cleaning, etc.



As part of an ongoing digitisation process, Iberia’s airport handling division is issuing smart phones to passenger handling service unit chiefs and supervisors at Madrid-Barajas airport. Use of the device is expected to lend greater flexibility and mobility to Iberia Airport Services personnel in the check-in area.

The small size and versatility of smart phones is making them extremely useful tools in our daily lives and at the workplace, where they offer a new world of possibilities.

The particular advantages they are expected to bring to the check-in area include:

  • Immediate access by users to all information needed for doing their jobs correctly.
  • More flexible and efficient check-in processes.
  • Real-time control of passenger flow and workloads in the check-in area.
  • More fluid communication amongst working teams, and better coordination with other areas.
  • Better service to our customers.

Alberto Terol, a member of the Customers Division digital transformation team, points out that “the use of Microsoft 365 in the new devices represents a step forward in the digital transformation of Madrid-Barajas airport. Office 365 is more than a set of tools –it’s a new way of working. The use of the Teams tool in the handling division is showing very good results in coordinating flows of communications between working teams, while the Sharepoint tool facilitates immediate access to all shared documentation.”

In addition to bringing improvements to the customer experience and reducing airport waiting times, this initiative is also raising the level of engagement of handling staff by making it easier for them to do their jobs efficiently. Antonio Rodríguez Aranda, the Senior Passenger Care Manager at Madrid-Barajas, comments: “This is a step forward in the project we launched last year for middle managers by aligning all to a new team management model, and supplying them with new tools that enable them to perform their tasks more easily, simply, and efficiently, while helping drive the change of culture amongst our staff.” In addition, he says, “it improves our communications, making it much quicker and easier to contact middle managers in each area”.

The introduction of these smart phones comes within the framework of the “customer experience” section of the Airports Go-up! programme being spearheaded by the Innovation department in collaboration with Madrid-Barajas teams including Customer Care, Customer Experience on the Ground, Brand, and Systems teams.



About a year ago Iberia’s customer care and ticket sales offices at our Madrid-Barajas hub launched a pilot turn number scheme which has now been extended to all the customer care islands in Terminal 4.

The new system has brought an improvement to the service given to our customers at the islands, optimising waiting times and, as Airport Innovation Manager Fernando Sánchez explains, “more efficiently ordering turns and keeping the zone clean and more orderly, with no need for forming queues”.

Other advantages of the new system include:

  • Improved operational efficiency.
  • More rational use of resources.
  • Real-time response to variations in passenger traffic flows.
  • Balancing the work load.
  • Improving the customer experience.
  • Reduced waiting times.

 

How does it work?

The new system is a simple one. Customers go to a digital kiosk where after specifying the service needed they are issued a ticket with their turn number. The system keeps our Customer Care personnel informed at all times of how many customers are awaiting each of the services, and by pushing a button they can begin calling the numbers.

A display screen next to the kiosk shows the number and indicates the counter to which customers should go when their numbers are called. This information is also supplied in audio.

Different Priority Levels

With the help of experienced Customer Care staff, a priority system was also developed. The system gives priority to Premium and/or Business Class passengers (airside islands), families with children, and people with reduced mobility.

Antonio Rodríguez Aranda, Senior Passenger Care Manager at Madrid-Barajas, notes that “to the customer’s total travel experience we add a moment at the islands which generates a positive impact on customer service perception by establishing parameters to ensure faster and more efficient attention”.

 

6 Turn Management Devices in T4

A total of six turn management devices are distributed in the two T4 buildings (NET and SAT) as follows:

  • NET building: one is located at each of the transit passenger islands in K zone and H zone, and a third is adjacent to the Customer Care island in the Arrivals hall.

 

  • SAT building: two devices are located next to the Customer Care islands in the Boarding zone, and a third is on level +2 at the arrivals counter.

This initiative comes within the framework of a broader Airport Division plan to improve operational and customer care procedures with modifications developed by mixed teams.



About a year ago Iberia’s customer care and ticket sales offices at our Madrid-Barajas hub launched a pilot turn number scheme which has now been extended to all the customer care islands in Terminal 4.

The new system has brought an improvement to the service given to our customers at the islands, optimising waiting times and, as Airport Innovation Manager Fernando Sánchez explains, “more efficiently ordering turns and keeping the zone clean and more orderly, with no need for forming queues”.

Other advantages of the new system include:

  • Improved operational efficiency.
  • More rational use of resources.
  • Real-time response to variations in passenger traffic flows.
  • Balancing the work load.
  • Improving the customer experience.
  • Reduced waiting times.

 

How does it work?

The new system is a simple one. Customers go to a digital kiosk where after specifying the service needed they are issued a ticket with their turn number. The system keeps our Customer Care personnel informed at all times of how many customers are awaiting each of the services, and by pushing a button they can begin calling the numbers.

A display screen next to the kiosk shows the number and indicates the counter to which customers should go when their numbers are called. This information is also supplied in audio.

Different Priority Levels

With the help of experienced Customer Care staff, a priority system was also developed. The system gives priority to Premium and/or Business Class passengers (airside islands), families with children, and people with reduced mobility.

Antonio Rodríguez Aranda, Senior Passenger Care Manager at Madrid-Barajas, notes that “to the customer’s total travel experience we add a moment at the islands which generates a positive impact on customer service perception by establishing parameters to ensure faster and more efficient attention”.

 

6 Turn Management Devices in T4

A total of six turn management devices are distributed in the two T4 buildings (NET and SAT) as follows:

  • NET building: one is located at each of the transit passenger islands in K zone and H zone, and a third is adjacent to the Customer Care island in the Arrivals hall.

 

  • SAT building: two devices are located next to the Customer Care islands in the Boarding zone, and a third is on level +2 at the arrivals counter.

This initiative comes within the framework of a broader Airport Division plan to improve operational and customer care procedures with modifications developed by mixed teams.