Iberia has taken delivery of the first of the five Airbus A330s that will enter service for the Spanish airline this year.
Spanish flag carrier Iberia currently has a total of nine Airbus A330-300 widebodies on order and also holds options on eight more. It intends to use the new aircraft to replace a fleet of 13 Airbus A340-300 jets currently in service, and potentially for service and network growth.
The airline’s first A330, named ‘Tikal’ and registered EC-LUB, is equipped with Iberia’s new business and Tourist (economy) class interiors for long-haul flights. Each A330′s Business Class cabin will feature new flat-bed seats, with each seat row arranged to provide four- or five-abreast seating and nearly every seat offering direct access to an aisle.
The A330s’ economy-class cabins are fitted with seats arranged in eight-abreast row configuration, so that no seat is more one one seat away from an aisle. Each economy-class seat is fitted with an individual seat-back monitor for watching in-flight entertainment programming. Seat rows in the economy-class cabins of Iberia’s Airbus A330-300s are arranged eight-abreast to ensure that no seat is more than one seat away from an aisle
Iberia is the market leader on routes between Europe and Latin America, offering more destinations and service frequencies than any other carrier. Together with its franchise partner Iberia Regional/Air Nostrum, Iberia operates about 600 flights daily with a fleet of 144 aircraft to around 100 destinations in 40 countries.
Iberia is a member of the oneworld alliance, which offers more than 8,400 daily flights to about 680 destinations in 134 countries.
Iberia will cancel 40 percent of its scheduled flights when workers go on strike between February 18 and February 22 to protest against job cuts. The loss-making airline said that 415 of the 1,060 flights scheduled over the five days would be grounded, though 90 percent of long-distance flights will take off. Domestic flights will be most affected, with almost half cancelled.
Labour unions are also planning strikes from March 4 to March 8 and from March 18 to March 22. Analysts said that the 15 days of strike action could cost Iberia between 50 million euros and 100 million euros.
International Airlines Group, comprising Iberia and British Airways, has negotiated with workers for months over a restructuring of the Spanish airline, which posted a 262 million euro operating loss in the nine months to September 30, 2012.
Iberia said that it would reduce job cuts to 3,807, lower than the initial 4,500, but unions decided to press ahead with strike action. Ground staff, including baggage handlers, will participate in the strikes, meaning that other airlines could be affected by the action.