DALLAS – It is not an easy task to lead an airline from its inception to becoming a dominant player in the market. This accomplishment becomes even more valuable when considering that half of the airline’s flights operate without any passengers or cargo.
On November 24, 2023, Privilege Style (P6), a Spanish ACMI and Charter airline, celebrated its 20th anniversary in the highly challenging and competitive commercial aviation industry.
The company, which started its journey two decades ago by acquiring a single Boeing 757, has successfully risen to the top tier of Spanish airlines through the efficient optimization of its flight operations, utilizing a fleet of four aircraft.
Privilege Style graciously invited the Airways team to attend the 20th-anniversary event, which took place in one of the main hangars at Madrid-Barajas International Airport (MAD).
From a Vespa to a Whole Airline
The early days of P6 were less than ideal. Its president, José Manuel (Chema) Álvarez, began his professional career in Madrid as a courier for a small printing company, delivering packages on a small Vespa scooter.
However, his determination and ambition caught the attention of Juan José Hidalgo, the owner of Air Europa (UX) airline. Hidalgo recognized Álvarez’s potential and reintroduced him to the commercial aviation industry, encouraging him to pursue his dream of establishing his own airline.
After years of hard work and building connections, Álvarez finally acquired P6’s first aircraft—a retired Boeing 757-200 with the registration EC-ISY, previously operated by Iberia (IB) and in search of a new owner. Chema Álvarez’s vision was to create and lead an airline that would bring the luxury of business travel to larger commercial aircraft.
A Pioneer Among Its Spanish Peers
Privilege Style, one of the pioneering airlines in Spain, gradually expanded its operations, staff, and fleet, introducing the concept of ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance, and Insurance) and charter operations. Spain has emerged as a significant hub for this type of airline, with over 10 different airlines adopting this methodology in their operational histories.
Currently, the airline operates with a fleet of four aircraft: a Boeing 777-200ER, an Airbus A330-200, and two Airbus A321-200. The airline competes on a daily basis with other prominent national carriers such as Wamos Air (EB), Plus Ultra (PU), World2Fly (2W), and Iberojet (E9), offering on-demand passenger transportation to destinations worldwide.
During the ceremony held on November 24, P6 welcomed its newest addition, the second Airbus A321, completing the replacement of its Boeing 757 fleet. The Boeing 757 had played a crucial role in the airline’s history, making this transition a significant milestone for P6.
In a heartfelt and intimate ceremony, Privilege Style officially christened their second A321 aircraft with the name #OrgullosoDeMiGente, as a tribute to the incredible contributions made by hundreds of individuals to the growth and endurance of the airline over the past two decades.
Tokyo Century Corporation, a Japanese corporation, handed this specific aircraft—registered as EC-OCT—to P6 in October. Air Seoul (RS), a South Korean airline, previously flew the aircraft before it was taken out of service in 2017.
EC-OCT boasts one of the highest seating densities ever seen in an A321 aircraft, accommodating up to 230 passengers in a 3-3 layout. This configuration is ideal for high-capacity routes, significantly reducing the cost per passenger and allowing Privilege Style to offer highly competitive fares for aircraft wet-leasing in Europe.
Stay tuned for an exclusive interview with Chema Álvarez, the president of P6, as he shares his insights and experiences in the fascinating world of the wet-leasing industry.
Featured image: Privilege Style. Photo: Adrian Nowakowski/Airways