Iberia has signed a contract with Airbus for the purchase of 30 A320 Family aircraft and taken another 49 options, hereby confirming the commitment signed in January this year. The contract covers the acquisition of 10 Airbus A318s, 10 A320s, seven A319s and three A321s. These aircraft will be delivered as from the second quarter of 2006. The aircraft will be powered by CFM56-5B engines from CFM International. Iberia currently operates a fleet of 107 Airbus aircraft, including seven A319, 60 A320, 13 A321, 18 A340-300 and nine A340-600.
By replacing older generation narrow body aircraft with the successful Airbus single aisle family, Iberia will fully benefit from the advantages of the Airbus fly-by-wire family and operational commonality, with different sizes to adapt to each market. This will allow maximum flexibility and improved aircraft and crew productivity.
Operating an all Airbus new generation A320 Family fleet allows for important cost savings in crew training, spare management and maintenance, as well as in fuel consumption. This will enable Iberia to better compete with the low cost carriers in the short and medium haul segment with the same or improved fleet costs. On the other hand, the Company will be able to offer a first class product to compete with other high level quality airlines.
Mr. Fernando Conte, President of Iberia, stressed that "with this purchase, Iberia is taking another big step towards the future, assuring a maximum efficiency and flexibility in terms of its fleet and the operating costs. This allows Iberia to compete in both cost and quality and maintain its position as a leading world-wide airline".
Dr. Gustav Humbert, Airbus President and CEO said: "We are extremely pleased to see the confidence Iberia is putting into the Airbus product, by both placing such a large a repeat order as well as becoming an all-Airbus operator. Airbus is proud to contribute to Iberia?s outstanding performance and assist Iberia in maintaining its market competitiveness."
Airbus' A320 Family is the most successful aircraft family in the world, with nearly 2,500 aircraft in operation today with more than 157 operators around the world. Firm orders for the Airbus A320 Family stand at 3,539 aircraft.
Airbus is an EADS joint company with BAE Systems.