Inside Iberia Iberia Plus

How does Iberia manage to be the most punctual airline?

Once more, we take a look at the key points that have enabled Iberia to be, for the second year in a row, the world’s most punctual airline, as certified by FlightGlobal, the main source of news, data, knowledge and experience in the global aviation community. We spoke with Maite Palmí, manager of the Schedule Planning Office, the first link in the chain, where the characteristics of the operation are designed.

What is the mission of the Schedule Planning Office?

We design the flight schedule (destinations, frequencies, times, etc.) in order to achieve an operation that is both efficient and flexible enough to absorb any incidents that may occur.

What factors do you take into consideration?

Firstly, the fleet. The plane has to be the right one for flying to each destination, based on meeting our customers’ needs – whether the route is orientated more to holidays or to business, for example – and on the operating requirements, such as the airport’s distance and particular constraints, such as its altitude or runway length.
In terms of maintenance, we consider whether a review needs to be done at the destination or in Madrid.
Crews are fundamental, as well. They must have the proper qualifications to fly on that aircraft model to that destination. And, lastly, the airport. We work with them to establish the minimum lay-over time necessary for the plane to be ready to fly back. Everything counts.

So, with this information, you’re able to set the optimum schedule for each flight?

Yes, but also taking into account operational rules (availability of the plane by timeslot, flight times, connection times, aircraft rotation and so on). And all of this is not just for a specific flight, but for the entire network. The schedule is like a Tetris game in which each flight is a key piece that has to fit in an operationally efficient manner. Punctuality is our ultimate goal. In fact, a flight being punctual is proof that everything worked correctly.