Iberia’s 11th Airbus A340/600, named “Antonio Machado,” for a Spanish poet of the 1920s and 1930s, joined the long-haul fleet serving Latin America, the United States, and South Africa. The aircraft entered service on a flight from Madrid to Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The “Antonio Machado” brings to 29 the total number of A-340s flown by Iberia. The long-range fleet includes a total of 19 aircraft, including 11 A340-600s and 8 A340/300s. Two additional A340/600s are to be added in the course of 2006, as Iberia continues with its fleet replacement program, substituting older aircraft with the latest generation of high-performance airplanes that are more fuel-efficient, quieter, and cleaner.
The new A340/600, registered as EC-JNQ, carries 352 passengers, and is equipped with Iberia’s new Business Plus section, designed for business travelers on long flights. It boasts unique new seats that unfold into totally flat beds inside a rigid outer pod to ensure privacy. The new seats also have an adaptable double back cushion with a special massage function, along with a head rest, fold-down arm rests and an extendible leg rest. The seats are equipped with an easy-to-use programming system that can memorize the passenger’s preferred position.
January 2006 Load Factors
Iberia’s January 2006 load factor improved by 1.9 points, reaching 73.2%, a new record for the month of January. Iberia flew 1.9 million passengers in January 2006 a 3.6 percent increase over January 2005. The load factor improved in all sectors, except for Iberia’s long haul sector (-1.1%). Iberia’s long haul, capacity decreased by 1.0%, due to the withdrawal of the Boeing 747 fleet which is being replaced by A340/600 of smaller size.
Service to Africa and the Middle East increased from 38,000 passengers in 2005 to 43,000 passengers in January 2006. Iberia’s international medium haul flights (+9.7%), were the best performers.
Iberia’s 2006 Highlights
On February 5, 2006, the new Terminal 4 at the Madrid-Barajas airport became operational. Iberia concentrates all its operations in Terminal 4, together with its OneWorld Alliance partners, its regional franchise Air Nostrum and other airlines that have code sharing agreements with Iberia.
On February 1, 2006, Iberia opened a new route between La Coruña-Alvedro and London-Heathrow and Iberia Regional/Air Nostrum started operating a new daily flight between Nant and Madrid.
Caption: Iberia is eliminating its fleet of Boeing 474 aircraft shown at Madrid-Barajas airport and replacing them with Airbus A340/600 aircraft. Text and Pictures provided and copyrighted by William B. Folsom
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