The Spanish business generated approximately 40% of IAG’s operating profit in 2023 (1,400 million of the 3,507 million recorded), with Iberia and Vueling as the only two airlines that already earn more than before the pandemic (operating profit before departures exceptional), compared to British Airways and Aer Lingus, further behind.

Specifically, Iberia scored 940 million, 89% more than in 2019, while Vueling grew by 59%, to 280 million euros. British Airways once again positioned itself as the airline with the most profits (1,650 million euros), although 24% below 2019. In the case of the Irish brand, the 225 million profits were 18% below 2019.

Iberia earned 6,958 million euros, 26% more than in 2022, and became the most profitable airline, with a margin of 13.5%, above the 12.4% of Vueling, whose turnover was 3,198 million euros, 23% more.

Of the 21 aircraft that IAG plans to incorporate in 2024, 14 will go to British Airways, within its desire to recover 2019 levels (at least, in the non-premium segment), while the other seven will be distributed between Aer LIngus (2 ), Level (1) and Iberia (2), with two more pending to be awarded. Vueling, waiting to sign the agreement with pilots and crew, does not have any units assigned for now.

Iberia, which hopes to close the purchase of Air Europa in the second half of this year, will receive an A350 to reinforce its operations in South America and an Airbus A321XLR to begin its flights with single-aisle aircraft to medium-sized cities on the east coast of America. located six or seven hours from Madrid. The long-haul fleet of the company chaired by Fernando Candela will be made up of two more units than in 2019. Iberia increased its capacity by 18% in 2023, a year in which it transported 24.04 million passengers, 7% more than in 2019 and 20% more than in 2022.

For its part, Vueling, with 36.76 million passengers, is 15% above 2022 and 6.4% above 2019. In the absence of a labor agreement, its growth in 2024 will come from more efficient use of aircraft and a reduction in the seasonality of their operations.