Iberia chairman Luis Gallego has disclosed that the Spanish airline has made a firm order to acquire 20 new Airbus A320neo aircraft to modernise its short- and medium-haul fleet.
The aircraft will be delivered from the first half of 2018 through 2021.
The announcement was made at an event jointly hosted by the CEOE business organisation federation and the CEPYME, representing Spain’s small and medium enterprises.
The event was held on the occasion of Iberia’s 90th anniversary.
The book value of the aircraft order is $1.84 billion, but Iberia’s parent company IAG has reportedly negotiated a significant reduction in the price.
The order follows the modernisation of Iberia’s long-haul fleet which began in 2013, under which 39 new aircraft will join the fleet through 2021, including 16 new-generation Airbus A350-900s, the first of them to be delivered next year.
The new A320neo represents a major advance in fuel economy, reduced emissions, and low noise. The larger A350-900s combine additional passenger comfort with maximum operational efficiency.
Gallego also announced that the reorganised Madrid-Barcelona walk-on air shuttle service, known as the Puente Aéreo (“Air Bridge”), is to be launched on July 19th, with additional advantages for customers.
Apart from the open tickets on the route, customers will also be able to book a specific flight, change or cancel their reservations for the shuttle or cancel them without any restriction.
Tickets may be reserved and purchased - and boarding cards issued- on Iberia.com website or the airline’s mobile app, enabling passengers to proceed directly to boarding gates if they wish.
Air shuttle passengers will continue to use dedicated facilities in both Madrid and Barcelona airports, where they can check in up to 15 minutes before departure time.
Other innovations include additional flight options, since passengers will now be able to fly both on Iberia and Vueling flights between the two cities as well as shuttle flights.
This brings the total to as many as 26 flights per day in each direction, 16 of them operated by Iberia and ten by Vueling.