Spanish Airline, Iberia stops operations to Nigeria

*Cites dwindling traffic for action
Spain’s national airline, Iberia Plc has attributed dwindling passenger traffic to its suspension of Nigeria’s route as the carrier said it would stop operations in and out of Nigeria, effective May 12, 2016.
In a letter to its trade partners, Regional Commercial Manager of the airline, Mr. Kola Olayinka, made available to New Telegraph stated that it was a tough decision that had been taken by its head office in view of the wide acceptance they have received from their passengers, especially those heading towards Spain and Latin America over the years.
Olayinka disclosed that the carrier’s commitment to Nigeria since they started operations in 2014 has never been in doubt, but noted that over the last few months, they have witnessed dwindling passenger figures to Madrid their main hub.
He noted that their business had faced very difficult and exceptional circumstance, which he said has brought about this very difficult decision.
It would be recalled that British Airways and Iberia signed a preliminary merger agreement in November 2009.
 The merger between British Airways and Iberia was completed on 21 January 2011, and shares in IAG began trading in London and Madrid on 24 January.
The carrier has continuously posted losses in the past three years, leading to fear that the airline may become distress.
The owner of Iberia and British Airways reported a net quarterly loss of 630m euros ($820m; £531m) in 2013 compared with a net loss of 129m euros last year.
IAG is trying to turn around Iberia, which has been struggling amid the economic crisis in Spain and stiff competition from budget carriers.
It took a 311m-euro charge mainly related to restructuring at Iberia.
In the first three months of last year, IAG said total revenue was up 0.5 per cent to 3.9bn euros, with passenger revenue up 3.9 per cent to 3.34bn euros.
Wole Shadare