A view from the air traffic control tower at Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport. Photo: EFE/Juan Carlos Hidalgo.

Madrid to become world aviation operations centre

The Spanish capital will host the new global operations centre of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), managing the operations of the 280 airlines belonging to this trade association, which means 83% of global air transport.

Madrid has been chosen by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to host its new global operations centre. As a result, the Spanish capital will manage the flights operated by the 280 members of this trade association, which account for 83% of global air transport, 315 million air tickets and more than 125,000 million euro. The operations of 50,000 travel agencies and cargo agents will also be managed at the Madrid-based centre.

For its new centre in Madrid, IATA will create 70 jobs by the end of 2018, going to 330 from 260 employees. The offices are located at Torre Europa, the elegant skyscraper on Paseo de la Castellana that is also the smartest building in Spain.

IATA’s old operations centre in Madrid controlled air transport in Europe. Now, with the new facilities, it will manage operations in North America, South America, the Middle East and part of Asia as well.

In addition, the new centre will have experts specialising in airports, cargo, flight safety, flight operations, finance, and other issues.

Unstoppable growth

Since IATA’s operations centre for Europe was established in Madrid in 2008, the Spanish facilities have never stopped growing. According to IATA sources, the Spanish capital was chosen for its cosmopolitan and multicultural spirit, as well as its capacity to engage international talent.

According to IATA’s Regional Vice President Europe, Rafael Schvartzman, the Spanish authorities’ support proved decisive for the choice of Madrid as the host city for the new global operations centre.

Thanks to IATA’s new operations centre, Madrid will become one of the big cities in world aviation, alongside Beijing or Singapore, where the trade association has centres too.