Spanish flag carrier Iberia has taken delivery of its first Airbus A350-900. The aircraft, EC-MXV (c/n 219), the first of 16 A350-900s the carrier has on order, was handed over at the manufacturer’s delivery centre in Toulouse, France on June 26.
The new type will be used to modernise Iberia’s long-haul fleet and is expected to replace some of its older A340s. After an initial period of familiarisation flying to destinations around Europe, the Madrid-based carrier will debut the A350 on its daily service to New York on August 8, increasing to twice daily from September 1.
Iberia, which becomes the 18th operator of the A350, is configured in a three-class, 348-seat layout including 31 full lie-flat beds in business, 24 in premium economy and a further 293 in economy. Airbus confirmed the aircraft is also the first A350-900 to feature the latest performance improvement package, including a wing twist, extended winglets and an increased maximum take-of weight capability.
Luis Gallego, president of Iberia, remarked: “We are delighted to receive our first A350, an aircraft that represents perfectly the efficiency and modernity of the new Iberia. During the last few years we’ve transformed ourselves to survive, now we are continuing to transform for excellence, a cycle change that this new aircraft represents so well.”