Spanish Airline to Add Nine Aircraft to its Fleet in the First Half of 2022
- Three Airbus A350-900s and six A320neo’s with deliveries starting this month
- Over the next two years the airline plans to add another A350-900s with a new cabin configuration, plus three more A320neo’s
- The first A321XLR is also scheduled to arrive by the end of 2023
Thanks to Iberia’s gradual recovery in all its markets, the Spanish airline has revived fleet arrival plans, stalled by the pandemic. In the first half of this year, it will take delivery of nine new aircraft –three long-haul A350-900s, and six A320neo’s for medium- and short-haul routes.
According to Iberia’s chairman and CEO Javier Sánchez-Prieto, “The arrival of new aircraft is a clear sign of a recovery which we expect to be consolidated in the course of the year, and it will also enable us to offer a very ambitious summer program this year while increasing efficiency and contributing to the sustainability of our operations. The fleet expansion is the best possible news for our staff, which can use the encouragement after these two years of the pandemic.”
Of the 20 Airbus A350-900s ordered, Iberia had held up deliveries of eleven.
The first, registered as EC-NMZ and named “Hola, Madrid” was delivered on 23 February, and two more will join the fleet before the end of March, bringing the total to 12.
These aircraft are 30%-35% more fuel-efficient than those they replace, thanks to lighter materials used in airframe construction and to advanced Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.
The remaining eight Airbus A350-900s on order will be delivered gradually through 2024 and will feature a new configuration including Business, Premium Economy, and Economy cabins while giving Iberia passengers an improved travel experience.
In the course of 2022 Iberia expects to take delivery of a total of six Airbus A320neo, which will replace the planes retired due to low demand during the pandemic.
The first two of these joined the fleet in this month of February, and four more are due to arrive in the coming months.
These new A320neo’s are equipped with “Airspace” cabins, with more room and comfort for passengers, more ample storage space for hand luggage, “mood lighting”, and antibacterial surfaces in toilets, along with other innovations.
The six new units will bring Iberia’s A320neo fleet to a total of 14. They are regarded as the most technologically advanced and fuel-efficient of short- and medium-haul commercial aircraft. Powered by Leap-1A CFM engines, they are 50% quieter and 15% to 20% cleaner than their predecessors, emitting 5,000 tonnes less CO2 per year and 50% less NOx.
The remaining three units on order are to be delivered in 2023.
The first aircraft of the eight-unit A321XLR order IAG placed for Iberia in 2019, is also scheduled to arrive in late 2023. This new aircraft model will allow the airline to operate new transatlantic destinations and increase frequencies in key markets.
Source: Iberia Press Release
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