Spanish flag carrier, Iberia, also a member of IAG, has taken delivery of the first of its 16 A350-900 XWB on order.
While it is the 18th carrier overall to operate the new generate aircraft, MSN219 is the first A350-900 to feature the latest performance improvement package (PIP) including a wing twist, extended winglets and increased maximum take-off weight (MTOW) to 280 tonnes.
The PIP changes improve the fuel consumption by one per cent. The 280 tonne MTOW will allow for a range of about 8,100nm. Important for the high density configuration of Iberia on its longer routes in South America and Asia.
The aircraft, named after the famous singer Placido Domingo, has 348 seats in a three-class configuration. 31 full lie-flat business class seat, 24 in premium economy, and 293 seats in economy class.
Iberia will initially operate the A350 between Madrid and London Heathrow for crew familiarisation and certification. Starting from August 8th, the aircraft will operate one of the two daily Iberia flights on the Madrid New York JFK route. From September 1, both JFK flights will be A350.
Iberia will take deliveries of the A350-900 until 2021 and use the new aircraft to renew its long-haul fleet current comprised of A330-300s and A340-600s. The Iberia fleet is all Airbus.