International Airlines Group (IAG) has confirmed a firm order for eight Airbus A330-300s for Iberia’s fleet following the preliminary memorandum of understanding the company signed earlier this year regarding the aircraft.
The A330 will be Iberia’s only twin-engine widebody and should fit easily into its existing all-Airbus fleet, given the flight-deck commonality between Airbus’ short-haul and long-haul families of aircraft. Iberia has selected General Electric CF6-80E1 engines to power its A330-300s.
“The A330s will be more cost effective and fuel efficient than the aircraft that they replace with improved environmental performance,” says Willie Walsh, IAG’s chief executive. “Another advantage is they can be easily assimilated into Iberia’s existing long-haul fleet, reducing the need for additional crew training and maintenance costs.”
“This order for Iberia further consolidates the position of the A330 family as the preferred choice for widebody aircraft among airlines and grows to 118 the number of customers and operators worldwide”, says John Leahy, Airbus’ COO customers. “The A330-300 offers an extraordinarily comfortable cabin and provides operators with great flexibility and the lowest operating cost in its class.”
The Airbus A330-300 has a range of up to 5,600 nautical miles (10,400 kilometers) with a typical 300-passenger load. The A330-300 is optimised for the medium-to-long-range market and firm orders for the version stand at more than 480.
The A330 family, which includes the A330-200 and A330-300 passenger models seating 200 to 400 passengers, also includes Freighter, VIP, and Military Transport/Tanker variants and has now attracted orders for 1,140 aircraft, according to Airbus.
IAG was created following the merger of Iberia and British Airways in January 2011. It is one of the world’s largest airline groups by revenue.