World football champions arrive in Madrid
Tuesday 13, July 2010
Iberia plane carrying victorious Spanish national side landed yesterday at Barajas airport. Another four aircraft with fans, players' families and officials had landed minutes earlier.
Spain's triumphant national football team landed in Madrid at 14:37 yesterday in an Iberia Airbus A-340/600 especially adorned for the occasion - inscribed on the fuselage was the word "CAMPEONES" ("Champions") and the phrase "Orgullosos de nuestra selección" ("Proud of our national side").
The players celebrated with a cake served on board, and they and their families and supporters drank toasts from the extra 48 bottles of sparkling cava that Iberia had laid in for the festive journey.
The victory celebrations in South Africa forced the delay from 0030 h. to 0500 h. of the five flights to Madrid, all of them in A-340/600s, Iberia's largest and most modern aircraft. Later today the Spanish airline will operate two more flights from Johannesburg, making a total of seven. Since the World Cup began Iberia has carried more than 17,000 passengers on the Madrid-Johannesburg route.
An experienced crew
Iberia assigned exceptional crews to these flights. Cockpit and cabin staff all had at least 20 years of experience. Some of them, such as the purser on the flight carrying the team, Pedro Fernández Ortega, had also worked aboard the special flights Iberia operated during the 2008 European Cup tourney, which Spain also won. The captain of the flight bringing the team home from Johannesburg was José Antonio Revuelta, with 17,560 flying hours to his credit.
World Cup summary
Iberia carried more than 17,000 people to South Africa during the World Cup tournament.
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