In August 2018, Spanish carrier Iberia began service with its brand new Airbus A350-900 from Madrid to London Heathrow. Iberia added service between Madrid and New York JFK later in the month. With 16 A350s on order and two already in its fleet, Iberia looks to modernize as old, inefficient A340-600s age.
Once more of the type have been delivered, Iberia plans to use the A350 on some of its high demand, long-haul routes. In February of 2019, Iberia plans to use the aircraft on its service from Madrid to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Operating 17 flights per week, the Buenos Aires route is one of Iberia’s biggest. The addition of the A350 will increase the load by 19% on the route, amounting to 600,000 yearly seats. The airline also plans to replace the A340-600 with the A350 on the Madrid to Chicago route in May of 2019.
Aeronautics Online was granted special access on board Iberia’s A350 for a tour at New York’s JFK Airport.
The aircraft we toured, EC-MXV, was delivered to Iberia in June 2018. The aircraft features two Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines and the signature Airbus A350 curved winglets. Iberia uses Terminal 7 at JFK. Terminal 7 is owned by British Airways but is home to carriers like Latam, Royal Jordanian, and other Oneworld partners.
We started with the brand new business class cabin. Configured in a 1-2-1 configuration, all of Iberia’s business class seats on the A350 offer direct aisle access. Each seat is fitted with a personal 15.4″ touchscreen and plenty of storage.
The premium economy cabin is laid out in a 2-4-2 configuration. Each seat features 37 inches of pitch and 19 inches of width. These are similar to the premium economy seats aboard LEVEL’s A330. Each seat has a personal 12″ touchscreen, one of the biggest in the industry. Iberia plans to roll this product out across its long-haul fleet.
Iberia’s A350 features a new economy cabin, all part of improving the passenger experience. There are 293 of the standard seats onboard. Each seat has 31 inches of pitch and 18 inches in width. The seats are very comfortable and the recline is quite good for an economy seat. All economy seats have a 9” touchscreen, and there is definitely a noticeable difference from the premium economy. The seats are a dark grey and have fully adjustable headrests and a reading light.
With Iberia’s A350 being one of the newest to hit the market, we will begin to see it utilized on routes around the world. This new aircraft will allow Iberia to offer the highest quality product while saving fuel and offering lower fares.
Featured image by Alvaro Lanza/Aeronautics Online