Our CEO Antonio López Lázaro has been interviewed by the newspaper El Mundo
Updated: Sep 19
Our CEO Antonio López Lázaro has been interviewed by the newspaper El Mundo. We leave you the interview below:
«The airline industry is challenging, but it has great opportunities that we will know how to take advantage of»
Euroairlines is a commercial airline that has been operating in southern Europe for more than twenty years. We spoke with its CEO, Antonio López-Lázaro.
What were the origins of Euroairlines?
Euroairlines was founded on January 14, 2000 and has since operated uninterruptedly as a commercial passenger and cargo airline in the southern European area. In 2018 it was acquired by the Spanish aeronautical group LLM Aviation in collaboration with the López Lázaro family, very passionate about aviation, and has continued to incorporate industrial partners since then.
Since 2000 we have had Beechcraft aircraft in our fleet, of the types Baron B58 (4 passengers), B200 (8 passengers) and B1900 (19 passengers). We are currently incorporating the Cessna 421C, a very successful aircraft in the United States and Europe given its operability and reduced costs. We started working in Sabadell and now we have offices in Madrid and Valencia, apart from the operational bases. Little by little, Euroairlines has become a business group developing new companies/business divisions: distribution, consulting, commercial services (GSSA-general sales and services agent) and BPO (business process outsourcing).
What balance do you make of this operating time?
On a personal level, it is a pride to be able to develop an eminently family business that gives continuity to many of the values and examples received, both in the family and in the university and professional spheres. The balance is clearly positive. The airline industry is challenging, but it presents great opportunities that we are knowing how to take advantage of once Covid19 is over, which we had to face shortly after acquiring the company. Although there are still load-capacity problems in the sector, we are facing a decade of sustained growth and profitability in our activity.
After the involution that we necessarily had to undertake due to Covid-19, the group has resumed its strategic plan, one of whose pillars is geographical expansion. This expansion already involves its own presence or through partnerships in 11 countries in America (Canada, USA, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Dominican Republic and Uruguay), 12 in Europe (Spain, Portugal , France, Italy, Germany, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Belgium, Sweden, Holland, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom) and 3 from Africa/Middle East (Israel, Turkey and South Africa). At the same time, we are opening in more than 20 new countries, with a special focus on Asia where our industry presents sustained double-digit growth in all projections until 2050.
What structure do you currently have?
The Euroairlines Group has a structure of close to 50 people. The airline structure is less than 20 people and therefore we are a non-complex operator, which allows us greater flexibility in some operations and at the corporate level. In accordance with our business plan, we will address new routes and fleet that will progressively turn us into a complex operator.
Apart from the permanent structure, we have high elasticity when taking on specific projects that require greater capacity, this is the case of call center operations, where we are capable of meeting demand peaks that clients cannot do on their own. (better known as “spillovers”), especially airlines, a specific and complex industry.
What routes are operating from Castellón?
Mainly the Mediterranean axis (Gerona, Reus, Valencia, Alicante, Málaga, Castellón) and the Balearic Islands, although we also serve routes to other countries such as Portugal, France and Italy. Due to the increase in the relocation of Spanish and French industries to North Africa, we are noticing a growing demand for flights to that region. With the fleet planned in the short term, mainly Cessna 421C, we hope to be able to increase our operations to Central Europe, leaving longer route projects for the medium term.
What customer profile are you targeting?
In the passenger sector, Euroairlines is focused on SMEs and the high-tourism segment, complemented by regular business aviation clients; in cargo (where we have obtained AESA certification for dangerous goods), Courier services, heavy industry and medical services.
Regarding airline services businesses, we address all business models: low cost, regional, legacy/network, tour operators and freighters.
What other types of services are you offering?
In addition to commercial air transport, we offer, through other Group companies, services mainly for airlines, although we sometimes work with other types of organizations such as airports, tour operators, handling companies, air brokers and consulting firms. These services are distribution (markets, channels and connectivity); consulting (strategy, commercial, operations); commercial services (GSSA) and BPO (call centers, IT, operational supervision).
One line of work at the airline is to expand the scope of our certifications to third parties: in AOC (Air Operator Certificate) operations, flag aircraft and reach agreements with other airlines to operate/share flights, and in the field of airworthiness CAMO (Continuous Airworthiness Maintenance Organization) provide service to other air operators.
What differentiates the company from its main competitors?
Above all, flexibility and adaptability to our clients. Given our size and level of qualification and experience of our teams, we are able to add value in all areas of the business at all times. We effectively accompany our clients in their needs and we are very transparent if we cannot do so. In all divisions of the Group, the priority is the client and in numerous projects, cross-services are provided to provide value in a very economically competitive way. On the other hand, the breadth of our service portfolio allows us to share relevant intra-Group goodwill.
What are Euroairlines' future plans?
At a strategic level, at the Euroairlines Group we want to pivot on two major levers: growth, diversification and excellence. The first two levers already have a certain level of maturity, as I mentioned; It is on the excellence of our teams and processes where we are putting a new focus. In the area of people, we are incorporating talent in all divisions with professionals with extensive experience who share the values of a family business.
Some examples are Ignacio Rodríguez, in the Group's deputy management, from Globalia; Juan Castaño, Cecilio Barberán and Luna del Campo on the airline, from AESA and Gestair; Gregory Taffouraud and Pablo Gª Colomer in Distribution and Consulting, from Amadeus and Indra respectively. Regarding process excellence, we are joining relevant industry associations to adopt best practices and also planning new certifications (ISO, IATA, ESG ) that demonstrate this commitment.