12 DECEMBER 2011
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Kel Ryan, brother of the late Tony Ryan, founder of the iniquitous airline of the same name, and an Aviation Club regular, posed a tough question to Antonio Vázquez at the club’s luncheon last week.
“Every time a legacy carrier tried to set up a low-cost division it failed – Go, Snowflake, Buzz, Ted, Song, CentralWings. They all failed. What makes Iberia different?”
Vázquez took it in his stride. “We have had a very good experience with Vueling and the original clickair (back in 2004) and we know what we are doing. The important thing is that we have to start with a new set of employment rules and we need to do this as we face more competition from the low-cost carriers and from the high-speed trains.
Clickair founder and current Vueling boss Alex Cruz sat opposite Vázquez at the lunch and came in for praise by the IAL Chairman.
“Iberia’s current high cost structure means that its short haul pilots earn more than British Airways pilots flying long haul routes,” said Vázquez.
The new ‘more cost efficient’ Iberia Express is scheduled to set up next April and will support 13 Airbus A320 aircraft by the end of the year, 40 by 2015. www.aviationclub.org.uk
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