British Airways purchased Iberia and in doing so created Madrid based International Airlines Group in January 2011. The airline group operates out of London however.
Iberia was is very bad shape. It’s losses and operational costs unsustainable and its labour costs typical of old legacy carriers. 50% Of the staff were let go and the airline was slashed to little more than a regional operator, with a few long haul routes. It was going to be a long road back to future worthy of a national airline.
That’s why the new A350-900 matters so much to the airline. This marks the moment that it’s finally turned the corner and arrived at the start of its new age.
The aircraft is the first of 16 that will replace virtually all of the long-haul fleet and introduce new routes.
The aircraft is the first Airbus have produced with enhanced features. It has larger sharklets, that are now standard on the aircraft, and a new wing with a slight twist that improves aero-dynamic efficiency. The MTOW has been increased for slightly extended range.
The 348 seat three class aircraft will be used on some of Iberia’s key premium routes, such as Madrid to Mexico City, Buenos Aries and Santiago (Chile).
IAG ordered the A350 for three of its airlines, with BA to receive its first of 18 A350-1000 in late 2019, Iberia 15 more A359’s over the next four years and AerLingus 9 A359’s from 2019-22.