SANTIAGO – Agencia EFE President Jose Antonio Vera on Wednesday praised the pioneering spirit of Iberia Airlines, which launched the celebration in Chile of the 70th anniversary of the first commercial flight between Europe and Latin America.
“Iberia is a company that has always been a pioneer in nearly every area,” Vera said during the opening of the “La Reinvencion de Iberia” (The Reinvention of Iberia) forum in the Chilean capital.
Iberia operated the first commercial flight between Europe and Latin America, linking Madrid and Buenos Aires in September 1946, the EFE president said.
The carrier was also the first airline to establish an air bridge and the first to launch a loyalty program, a strategy adopted by nearly all the companies in the industry, Vera said.
“It was among the first flag carriers to be privatized, to go public on the stock market and to forge an alliance of airline companies,” Vera said.
With the merger with British Airways and entry into the IAG consortium in 2011, Iberia took a definitive step toward internationalization with a “tremendously Hispanic and Latin American outlook,” the EFE president said.
Among those attending the forum, held at the Espacio Fundacion Telefonica in Santiago, were Iberia CEO Luis Gallego; Transportation and Telecommunications Minister Andres Gomez-Lobo; and National Tourism Office director Omar Hernandez.
A photographic exhibition, titled “Iberia, 70 años en America Latina” (Iberia, 70 Years in Latin America), was inaugurated at the forum.
The exhibition highlights the social, cultural and economic aspects of air transport.