IAG group finalises Artificial Intelligence laboratory opening in Barcelona

Iberia's parent company will hire 150 highly specialised professionals for this space.

The International Airlines Group (IAG), parent company of airlines such as Iberia, Vueling and British Airways, will open its artificial intelligence laboratory in Barcelona in the coming weeks. The announcement was made by the company's CEO, Luis Gallego, in the Catalan capital during the presentation of a report analysing the group's impact on the economy of this autonomous community.

The opening of the new artificial intelligence centre is in line with the group's commitment to innovation, which has materialised through several investments in transformation initiatives aimed at bringing value to airlines in order to generate a competitive advantage.

A space for collaboration and excellence
The laboratory will be a space for collaboration and excellence in which 150 highly specialised jobs will be created. It will complement a similar laboratory that IAG already operates in London. Through the work of these centres, the group aims to lead aviation in innovation and in the development and application of artificial intelligence in the industry.

In addition to this announcement, Luis Gallego disclosed the main data from the study undertaken by the consultancy firm PwC on the impact of IAG in Catalonia. Its activity contributed 6.043 billion euros to the regional GDP in 2023, equivalent to 2.1% of the total. It also helped generate more than 81,000 jobs, or 2.3 per cent of full-time employment.

Economic and employment impact
These figures are the result of adding IAG's activity and investment to the direct, indirect and induced spending of the visitors that its airlines carry to and from Catalonia. 1.722 billion and 11,949 full-time equivalent jobs. The pull effect estimates a contribution of 4.322 billion euros and the generation of 69,415 jobs.

In analysing this data, Luis Gallego concluded, "Over the years, IAG has positioned itself as the leading airline group at Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat airport and the only one offering short, medium and long-haul flights. Having strong and competitive airports connecting European and intercontinental traffic is key for the competitiveness of European aviation and for strengthening our contribution to the economies in which we operate."

Photo: IAG