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Juan Pedro Guerrero Martín, one of the first to try out the A350

In 2017, Iberia was named the most punctual airline in the world for the second year in a row, according to FlightGlobal. A significant part of this achievement is owed to the ceaseless efforts and work of our employees. This month, we speak to Juan Pedro Guerrero Martín, head aircraft maintenance technician (AMT) of the long-haul line, the airplanes flying the routes to the Americas, Asia and South Africa.

Can online maintenance be planned?

Yes, of course. Planning is vital for everything to run smoothly. In fact, each flight is monitored while it’s in the air so that we can be ready and waiting for anything that needs to be done on the ground. For example, an unexpected inspection because it’s been struck by lightning. This way, we can foresee what work has to be done and what staff we need to do it. Our number one objective is safety and number two is punctuality.

Under normal conditions, what’s a typical day like?

Actually, there’s no such thing as a ‘typical day’. The first thing I do is check the flight schedule and the comments from the previous Head AMT, which planes are operational and which ones are under maintenance. With that information, I see what staff there are, the work we have to do and the planes’ arrival and departure times so we can adapt the maintenance work to that schedule. And then we get on with the work.

How many people are there on each shift?

About 25 people, 25 AMTs. And if there’s any extra workload, we try to get in touch with the online maintenance hangar so they’ll send us staff at a given time. We don’t have them just take care of any possible incidents that may come up during the airplane’s usual daily operations; there are some handling jobs that also require an AMT to be present.

You’ve just come from Toulouse, from being with the A350. How was the experience?

Fantastic. First, I did the theoretical course in Madrid. In Toulouse, I did the practice, the course on taxiing and the software uploads. All the preparation for flying it when it arrives in Madrid. The idea is to be one of the instructors for that plane for the rest of the company’s AMTs.

What do you think of the plane?

It’s a huge quality step forward for Iberia. The A350 has many advantages, especially a lot of innovation, built right into the airplane itself, and that’s going to help us with our day-to-day work. And the fuselage is a real beauty; it’s made with carbon fibre. The truth is that it looks very good, indeed.