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Iberia in Equatorial Guinea

Article - September 20, 2012
Victor Calvo, the Commercial Manager of Iberia Equatorial Guinea, outlines his vision for the company and details the recent growth in aviation traffic in the African country

The aviation industry in Equatorial Guinea is in full swing. The last five years have seen a significant growth in passenger traffic to and from the country. Companies that traditionally operated in this market have increased their frequency and improved their services, and also new carriers have started to operate regionally and internationally.

Significant improvements have been undertaken at airports and on the surrounding roads. We are also building new airports, while expanding existing airport facilities and improving and increasing security systems.

The creation of the Autonomous Authority of Civil Aviation has given a great impetus to the development described above and is one of the major catalysts for the development of the aeronautical sector in Equatorial Guinea.

My previous experience with Iberia, in numerous airports, as well as in various commercial and financial departments, has allowed me to obtain a global view of the company, and this has been very valuable for performing my duties in a country where Iberia has so much tradition.

Equatorial Guinea has great potential for development, especially in tourism, and we are extremely motivated to continue facing new challenges and overcoming them.

A final message on Equatorial Guinea to share with the readers of USA Today:

Equatorial Guinea is a largely undiscovered destination, and Iberia, a company that has been in this country continuously and will continue investing in the future, invites you to come and enjoy this place at the heart of Africa.

For all those who belong to the Hispanic community, the advantage of being able to be understood in the same language is an added value that will allow you to understand and enjoy even more of this country, which lately is experiencing a period of great development with vast improvements in infrastructure and services.

Iberia began flying to Equatorial Guinea in June 1941. In recent years, our airline has improved the service offered to passengers flying between Madrid and Malabo. When Business Club Class was inaugurated in October 2010, our service on these flights started to include wider seats with recliners, greater distance between seats, and a better food service, as well as a personal entertainment system.

In August 2011, Iberia increased the frequency of flights by adding an additional weekly flight, so we now have six per week between Madrid and Malabo. The airline's flights between Equatorial Guinea and Spain are operated by its A319 aircraft, one of the most modern fleets that Iberia holds, which has 14 seats in Business Class and 108 seats in Economy Class.

In 2011, the sales of Iberia seats between Madrid and Malabo grew nearly 7% to 63,000 seats. In 2012 the supply will increase by more than 8% and exceed 68 000 seats. The passenger count grew by more than 15% in 2011, compared to 2010, while the load factor of flights between Madrid and Malabo is around 76%.

We consider the increase in the number of passengers flying with Iberia Business Class to/from Equatorial Guinea, which was around 7.5% in 2011, as very important, since it can be interpreted as an increase in the country's trade relations, not only with Spain, but also with Europe and the rest of the world.

It is precisely in the case of connecting flights where Iberia plays an important role in facilitating travel between Equatorial Guinea and other parts of the world, as from its base in Terminal 4 at Madrid airport, Iberia offers connections to 32 other Spanish cities, 42 destinations in Europe, five cities in the United States, and 19 in Latin America.

The 44% of passengers flying with Iberia between Madrid and Malabo continued their journey to other destinations, including Valencia, Lisbon, Barcelona, Sao Paulo, Gran Canaria, Cairo and Tel Aviv. The market share of Iberia between Equatorial Guinea and Europe now stands at 42%.

In addition to passenger aircrafts, Iberia also transports goods. In 2011, more than 20,000kg of cargo was flown between Equatorial Guinea and Spain. The majority of the goods that came from Equatorial Guinea were bound for Argentina, Cuba, the United States, El Salvador and Spain.