Iberia Opens Innovative “Iberia Playground” at Headquarters of its NGO Envera

by Chantal Welch
Iberia Airbus A321 XLR

In collaboration with Envera, Iberia has opened the “Iberia Playground,” an accessible and innovative park devoted to the integration of intellectually disabled people into society and the workplace.

Iberia Playground

Iberia Playground inauguration © Iberia

Aviation Innovation: Solutions for a Better Future

2021 marks 40 years since the Spanish flag carrier, Iberia, began operating Airbus aircraft from its base in Madrid. Iberia has come a long way since then, with 2021 being its most innovative year yet. As a result of the pandemic, Iberia has recently been trialling biometric technology at its Madrid hub and has also joined its Oneworld partners in launching the VeriFly Health Passport.

Iberia has always looked towards the future and focused on innovative and sustainable solutions. In 1977, a number of Iberia employees with intellectually disabled children founded Envera, with the aim of achieving their full integration into society and the workplace. Iberia has continued to support Envera since it began, contracting the organisation to perform a number of tasks from laundry to document management on behalf of the airline.

Iberia Fleet

Iberia Fleet © Aer Lingus

Community Investment

Envera offers life-long support and care to those who need it, providing its services to 2,500 intellectually disabled people every year. It’s been a vital asset for the community, particularly during the pandemic,  giving stable, paid employment to 650 beneficiaries while employing 150 staff. The new Iberia Kindergarten at the Envera headquarters offers 200 children on its programme access to a safe and innovative space to enjoy with their families.

The Madrid-based innovative park was opened and inaugurated by the president of Iberia, Javier Sánchez-Prieto, and the president of Envera, José Antonio Quintero. It marks a historic collaboration, as both organisations share aeronautical DNA and a commitment to inclusion and equal opportunities.

Iberia president, Javier Sánchez-Prieto said:

“We know that the history of Envera and Iberia has a common origin, that we have been together for more than 40 years and we will continue for many more years. It is a pride to be able to participate in this work and the Iberia Garden is an example of it. “

Iberia Airbus A340 600

Iberia Airbus A340 600 Vincenzo Pace

Envera president José Antonio Quintero thanked Iberia for their contribution and said:

“In these difficult times due to the pandemic, with the immense part of the fleet on land, this garden works the miracle of hope that takes flight because everything will get better”.

It’s encouraging to see airlines give back during the pandemic, especially to the younger generation. They are the generation that can change the world, and it’s important that the aviation industry continues to invest in them and local communities for a brighter future.

What are your thoughts on Iberia’s playground in Madrid? Let us know in the comments below.

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