IAG establishes South to provide handling services in Spain

IAG Group has established South, a new handling subsidiary providing services at 38 airports in Spain.

Pictured: Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas Airport. Picture credit: Aena

South, which was registered at the Madrid Commercial Registry on 19 February this year, will provide ramp and passenger handling services to IAG Group’s Spanish companies, Iberia, Iberia Express, Vueling and LEVEL, passenger handling for British Airways, Air Nostrum and Aer Lingus, and services to third party companies at the airports where Iberia Airport Services obtained a licence in the last Aena tender.

The public deed has been deposited at the Mercantile Registry, complying with the legal formalities for the transfer of the independent economic unit that brings the handling activity and includes all its employees.

South was created out of an agreement reached between Iberia and trade unions with a workforce of 8,700 employees.

More than 3,500 employees will be based in Madrid, 1,500 will be in Barcelona and the rest will be divided between the other 36 airports.

South expects flight volumes to grow 17% by 2030 and has a three stage growth plan.

Business consolidation is the first phase, maintaining business figures from 2023 and organically increasing its presence where possible.

Looking into 2025, South will invest in technical and sustainability improvements including employee training and the electrification of its fleet.

A voluntary redundancy programme, which will affect around 1,700 employees, will be in place until 31 December 2026, offering redundancy and early retirement opportunities.

Miguel Angel Gimeno, CEO of South, said: “Workers who leave during this period will voluntarily take advantage of the redundancy measures agreed with the unions and will be replaced as the company grows.”

Phase two is optimisation by providing employees with the security agreed in the previous agreements with the unions and consolidate South’s market position to generate value for both its customers and stakeholders.

Growth is the third phase with South aiming to grow in Spain in the short term, mainly focusing on Madrid, and then in southern Europe.

Gimeno said: “Our leadership position, together with a professional team of more than 8,000 employees and the experience we have accumulated, makes us believe that we are going to write a page of success in the global handling business in the coming years.”

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