All posts by Clara de la Torre

From IBAS and all our airports, we would like to share this special video with you and your teams (click on the Xmas card below).

Warments thouhgts and best wishes for a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.

 

Iberia Airport Services (IBAS) serves Binter at nine of the eleven airports they fly to, and now they have also chosen us to debut at La Coruña and San Sebastián, with two weekly frequencies at each destination.

For both stopovers we have been prepared by Pino Marin, Binter’s ground operations and security coordinator, and the AENA team at each of these airports.

Both the staff at A Coruña airport (19 permanent staff) and San Sebastián airport (40 permanent staff) have been trained with an online course in emergencies and in person in check-in and boarding procedures and in the operations for the type of aircraft with which Binter is going to operate at both airports: Embraer E195-E2. The arrival of this type of aircraft in A Coruña has meant a great novelty, having to carry out the adaptation of the ground equipment.

Iberia Airport Services (IBAS) has served BINTER since it began flying to destinations within the peninsula in 2018. Throughout this time, the professional relationship has grown stronger, as Pino says: “IBAS has always been by our side, accompanying us in the best and worst of times, adapting its staff and resources to our needs. The human team that supports us at each airport could not be better, both on a day-to-day basis and when it comes to resolving any incident that may arise, and we are convinced that it will be the same at all the new airports. We have had every facility from our first contact with David Martínez, manager of Iberia Airport Services in A Coruña and with Corinne Martínez, manager of the airports of Santander, Vitoria and San Sebastián. Thanks to them and their teams for the availability and enthusiasm they have shown at all times”.

At Iberia Airport Services we are delighted to grow hand in hand with our customers. Welcome Binter to these two northern airports.

Ibiza airport is located 7 kilometres from the city and also serves the island of Formentera. It was inaugurated in 1958 for domestic traffic and in 1966 it was also opened for international traffic, once the runway was extended and the control tower was built. It has subsequently undergone several extensions and refurbishments.

It occupies 9th place in the ranking of Spanish airports (in 2019) and in 2014 the ICAO certified Ibiza airport as the most seasonal airport in the world. Despite the pandemic, IBIZA has demonstrated its potential for all types of tourism and in August has already exceeded the number of flights scheduled in 2019.

The airport’s high degree of seasonality determines the staff of Iberia Airport Services (IBAS), which has between 90 and 300 employees (depending on the season) to attend to the 13 client airlines that operate: Vueling, Iberia Express, Air Nostrum, Transavia, British Airways, Cityflyer, Volotea, Wizz Air, LOT, TAP, Chair, Neos, Ego Airways, etc.

Susana Espinosa, has been IBZ’s airport manager since 2018 and has held different positions in the company since 1989, all of them on the “front line of battle”: “the great challenge of this stopover is, without a doubt, managing seasonality and going from 0 to 100 in a matter of days. A lot of planning and foresight to be ready on the first day of high season. But our staff has internalised this way of working and they live it very naturally. It is even more shocking for those who come from outside to see how the city is completely transformed from one day to the next”.

Roberto García Osorio, a ramp supervisor and chief agent depending on the needs of the operation, tells us that “I even like the smell of paraffin! Working at Iberia, I have realised that you never have to stop learning, you always have to reinvent yourself.

Roberto is in love with Ibiza and gives us his favourite places on the island:
– Strolling through Dalt Vila, the old town, during the second weekend of May; it is transformed into a medieval market to celebrate its declaration as a World Heritage Site.
– Visit some of its best coves and beaches: Cala Salada, Cala Saladeta, Cala Bassa, or Cala D’Hort, where, right in front of it is located Es Vedrá, a magical and legendary islet 382 metres high, protected as a nature reserve.
– Contemplate the popular sunset of Cala de Benirras to the sound of hippie drums. For me it is one of the best places to watch the sunset in Ibiza. Just a word of advice, get there early if you don’t want to run out of space!

Are you going to miss it?

 

IBAS is a partner of the AVIATOR project, which is financed through the European Union´s Horizon 2020 programme and assesses the impact of aviation emissions on local air quality at airports.

For the last two months, IBAS has been working closely with techinicians and researchers of the National Institute of Aerospace Technology (INTA) to install 14 sensors in different points at Madrid-Barajas Airport.

The aim of the AVIATOR project is to measure emissions under different climatic conditions and develop models to monitor the real microphysics of emissions from combustion engines. The same measurements that are being taken in Madrid are being carried out other airports with different climatic conditions.   

According to Hugo Castillo, the Iberia Sustainability Manager, “The study will enable us to analyse the levels of particles from aircraft as well as ground equipment in the different areas where we operate because the combustion of kerosene is not the same as the combustion of diesel, and the sensors will pick that up. The IBAS strategy to reduce the impact of emissions is centred around the fleet electrification plan, but we are also committed to research and innovation, and we are therefore taking part in the AVIATOR project to be able to assess any other options that emerge as a result of the study. We are contributing our extensive experience to the project by assisting the team with all the logistics related to the installation of the sensors, the lab in the testing area and the management of all the necessary documents to ensure operational safety at the airport.”  

 

On 15th November, we added a new customer to our portfolio, Etihad, the second national airline of the United Arab Emirates, based in Abu Dhabi, to which we will provide a full-handling service.
Etihad will initially operate four daily frequencies between Madrid – Abu Dhabi with a Boeing-789, with the likelihood of increasing to five from January.
Both the Commercial Department of Iberia Airport Services (IBAS), headed by Carmen Martinez as Handling Account Manager, and the Management of Madrid-Barajas Airport have been working for months to ensure that everything is ready and that the operation is a success.
The great novelty for the Barajas team will be to work with SABRE as DCS system in our HUB. Etihad personnel have been responsible for training a group of employees in the use of this system, teaching them the specific procedures and requirements necessary to comply with the established standard.
All those responsible for executing the “mechanism” that we set in motion with the training process and that culminates with the first day of operation, are specialists in coordinating this type of process, given that at Madrid Barajas we serve 38 client companies and all types of fleets,” says Rubén Menéndez, Companies Support Manager.
We show you below how this first operation went:

Check-in

We opened check-in about 3 hours before the flight was scheduled to depart at 14:00. At the check-in counters in T4, our Passenger Service colleagues attended for the first time to passengers flying to Abu Dhabi with the SABRE system. Everything went smoothly, as María Gómez told us, “although with the nerves of using a new system, we worked smoothly with SABRE, and as with the rest of the companies, we pay special attention to ensure that all documentation is in order, despite the fact that these flights have a great diversity of nationalities and connections to other destinations”.

While at the docks

In the baggage hippodrome located in the North Satellite area of T4, the ramp team began to classify the bags according to their destinations and transits, segregating the baggage according to their connection times and assigning them in a pre-established order inside the AKES or baggage containers.

And on the tarmac we first welcomed the arrival of Etihad.
We witnessed the arrival of Etihad flight EY075 at its assigned parking position, where the ramp team had previously proceeded diligently to inspect the FOD (foreign object debris). Once the coordinator assigned to this flight, Elena Munteanu, confirmed that the engines were stopped and the beacon was turned off. This is when the ramp team began to deploy efficiently around the apron, in a rehearsed choreography, to carry out their tasks on a windy day in Madrid: placing chocks in front of and behind the wheels because no cones were placed due to the wind, GPU (Ground power unit) and opening the holds.
All this dance took place under the watchful eye of team supervisor Miguel Barba and coordinator Elena, who confessed that she was delighted to welcome a client like Etihad to Madrid.

Boarding

Everything was ready to start boarding on time, but we had to delay it for a few hours due to a technical problem on the plane. In spite of the incident, we always had our employees at the disposal of the company’s needs and giving support to the passengers.
End of service to the aircraft.
After 19:00 hours, the pushback finally moved into position to “hug” the nose gear and start the pushback manoeuvre.
Witnessing and supporting the start of this operation were Carmen Martinez, IBAS commercial manager, Nieves Auñón, Etihad’s head of stopover and various managers from different areas of the Barajas team, such as Mirian Hidalgo, Passenger Customer Handling Manager and Miguel Saiz, Customer Handling Ramp Manager, among others.
Nieves Auñón, Etihad’s head of stopover, thanked us for the work carried out during the previous weeks: “I am convinced that this is the beginning of a professional relationship that will last for a long time. Thank you Iberia Airport Services for your dedication and professionalism, as I have been able to see in this first operation, putting to the test the great human and technical team at the disposal of our company”.
Seeing this first flight depart, everyone “relaxes”. It is the beginning of a new stage with a new client that we are delighted to serve, proud of the levels of quality and efficiency demonstrated, after a few hard weeks of preparation.

 

The shortlist for GHI’s Pride of Ground Handling Awards 2021 has been revealed and Iberia Airport Services is among finalists in the Handler Airline Innovation Award category: Iberia – Kepler Project in BCN: IBAS Turnaround 3.0 for Vueling

Thanks to the advances in technology and digital transformation that IBAS has implemented in its ground operations, as part of its GoUp! Programme, we can now offer to all our airlines a new and innovative tool called KEPLER.

KEPLER is the new IBAS operational management tool that will unify the 22 apps historical used in the company on a single one, to connect all business units in only 4 modules: resource planning, real time operation, billing services and data analysis.

To customize Kepler in BCN for IBAS main client – Vueling – we worked together in several work streams to define the functionalities that VY operation requires in its hub as well as the new procedures to utilize it by IBAS operational teams.

The success of this project lies in employee’s involvement from beginning to end and IBAS organization commitment, in collaboration with our suppliers and customers as Vueling.

Last year we were also finalists in these awards and we are looking forward to finding out the winners this year on 07 December.

Last week we welcomed back to Barcelona one of our main clients, LATAM, who returned after a few months of interruption due to the pandemic. With this reincorporation, we now serve 22 in Barcelona.

Eduardo García, KAM Handling of Iberia Airport Services in Barcelona, has been working during the last month, together with the operational team of BCN and the representatives of LATAM (at national level and the manager of airports in Europe) on all the operational procedures. One of the main challenges is always the preparation and training of the resources that LATAM needs for its operation, both human and technical, in the three operational areas: passenger, coordination and ramp. As an example, for the use of its own check-in system in Barcelona, SABRE, we have supported the entire installation with the airline’s UCA, SITA and IT teams.

The great novelty of this operation is the trust that LATAM places in IBAS as representatives of its company in Barcelona. All the agents involved in the operation have very well-defined functions and have been specifically trained to resolve any incident in situ, with the support of the supervisor or shift service manager and Hub control team. At Latam’s request, we added a new profile to our functions, called “COT” (ground operations coordinator), who is in charge of preparing the flight, being in permanent contact with the LATAM representative at headquarters, closing the flight, completing and verifying all the information required by the company in its systems.

As Eduardo remarks “after the months of pandemic we have lived through, the truth is that it is an illusion for the whole team to see that the companies are flying again and, above all, that LATAM has chosen us to push all these changes”.

A work supported from central services by Ana del Cura, commercial manager responsible for the company LATAM, who says “we have been working with LATAM for years and it is a pleasure to see them again in BCN. Our experience allows us to prepare any type of operation (start-up of routes, temporary reopenings…) that our clients require. We have put all our efforts and dedication to prepare this return of Latam with three weekly frequencies between Barcelona and Sao Paulo, and we will work in the same line to make it a success during this season”.

We welcome a customer back “home”; we are delighted to meet again and thank you for trusting in the excellence of our services, always adapted to the current situation and your requirements.

Santiago de Compostela airport opened in 1932 and a new terminal was built in 2011.  According to a recent article in El Correo Gallego, SCQ Rosalía de Castro airport, more popularly known as Lavacolla airport, is Galicia’s most important airport in terms of number of connections and passengers and occupies slot 16 in the ranking of Spanish airports. Last August

Iberia Airport Services (IBAS) currently provides handling services for five airlines (Vueling, Iberia Express, Air Nostrum, Privilege Style and Aer Lingus) with international destinations like London Gatwick, Paris Orly, Amsterdam, Brussels and Zurich.

In the 1980/90s Iberia operated summer flights to MEX and even JFK with a B-747 aircraft, offering connections to the Galician emigrants resident in those two cities. Pope John Paul II and Prince Naruhito are just two of the celebrities who have visited this city that has always been serviced by IBAS.

At this airport we have a versatile workforce (between 56 and 76 employees, depending on the season) able to meet any requirement the airlines call on us to handle. Santiago airport is open 24/7 and although usually there are no night flights, an Iberia Airport Services team is there making preparations for the following day’s flights as well as being on hand in case any flights are diverted from other airports.

Antonio Ruiz Lorenzo is the manager of Santiago de Compostela and Vigo airports. In his 37 years at Iberia, his knowledge and experience of passengers, ticket sales and technical operations have taken him all over Spain, from Málaga where he started out, to station manager in Melilla and Menorca, then on to Seville and finally to Santiago, where he has been in post since 2015. Antonio tells us that “Galicia’s climate has made us “experts” in managing diversions of flights with speed and efficiency. Santiago is the alternative airport to A Coruña and Vigo, and thanks to the communication between the Iberia Airport Services teams at all three stations we try to anticipate incidents and offer solutions to passengers in the shortest possible time.

María Teresa Méndez Paz, who works at Santiago de Compostela airport, says she does a bit of everything: “One day I’m coordinating, the next drawing up a flight’s load sheet, another day I’m doing check-in and boarding… at small airports we have to be versatile. This is an airport that receives a lot of pilgrims because of the Way of Saint James, so you often find passengers travelling back to their places of origin with their “pilgrim’s staff” or bike, which are very common items of luggage for us.

Juan Miguel Ferreira, head of airports at Iberia Express, tells us in this video about the operational excellence of the IBAS team at SCQ and its empathy when it comes to minimising the impact of incidents for their customers, who after all are our customers as well. Meanwhile, Antonio points out the advantages of working with a team like the one at Iberia Express.

   

 

We are delighted that SkyUp is starting to fly from Madrid to Kiev and once again, they have placed their trust in Iberia Airport Services to serve their two weekly flights, on Mondays and Fridays.

Carmen Martínez, Key Account of Iberia Airport Services (IBAS), who is responsible for the Ukrainian company, tells us that “it is very exciting to accompany them on this new journey and we are proud that they have opted for our services on their new route from Madrid. We have been serving them since 2018 at the airports of Mallorca, Alicante, Barcelona, Tenerife North and South.  Welcome SkyUp to the capital city!”

On 18th October, the inaugural flight took off from Terminal 1, Adolfo Suarez-Madrid Barajas Airport, where our Handling staff welcomed passengers amidst an arch of balloons in the company’s corporate colours.

Iberia Airport Services (IAS), Iberia’s airport handling unit which serves more than 100 airlines in 29 Spanish airports, racked up 23 million passengers served this summer season.

From June through September, IAS attended more than 93,000 aircraft and handled some 16.5 million pieces of luggage, which amounted to 70% of the activity registered in the summer of in 2019.

It also tended to more than 21,000 unaccompanied minors, about 60% of the total in the summer season of 2019. 

Domestic Travel

The summer saw a sharp recovery of domestic travel, and IAS actually surpassed its summer-2019 totals in the airports of Ibiza, Asturias, Gran Canaria, Santiago de Compostela, Santa Cruz de la Palma, and Tenerife Norte. 

Some 86% of airlines beginning operations in Spain this summer chose IAS as handing service provider, including World2Fly, Vietnam Airlines, EGO Airways, and Lattitud. 

Iberia’s Airport manager José Luis de Luna said, “This summer was the turning point in the recovery of our airport handling business. Now we face the challenge of winning the biggest number of licences, in which we are bringing to bear innovative solutions based on the latest technology, which translates into better customer service, more efficient use of our resources, and a more sustainable footing for our business.” 

Going for New Licences 

Spain’s airport handing licences, worth about 1,000 million euros, are awarded every seven years by the national airport authority AENA, and these licences are up for renewal this year.

Iberia Airport Services is preparing to present its bids, and is strengthening its position with innovative solutions that can ensure better services tailored to individual customer needs.

During the pandemic it acquire eight new electric powered pushback tractors,that are operated by remote control are pollution-free. They have already been used to move more than 3,000 aircraft at the airport of Madrid and Barcelona.