Iberia Reveals Routes & Configuration For New A350

Iberia will soon be taking delivery of their first of 16 Airbus A350 aircraft, which they’re using to modernize their longhaul fleet. Currently the airline operates a fleet of A330s and A340s for longhaul flights, so over time they plan to retire some of those A340s and replace them with these new planes.

We’ve known that Iberia would first fly these A350s around Europe to familiarize their crews with them, and that New York would be the first longhaul destination to get the plane. The airline has now formally published the schedule for the plane.

First Iberia plans to operate the A350 between Madrid and London Heathrow on July 20 through August 31, 2018, except August 4 through August 16, 2018. As of now the IB3166 frequency shows the A350. I’d guess that this schedule remains highly subject to change.

What I’d feel a bit more comfortable betting on is Iberia’s A350 longhaul debut. Iberia will operate a daily A350 flight to New York as of August 8, 2018, and twice daily A350 flights to New York as of September 1, 2018. Specifically:

  • IB6251/6250 to New York will feature the A350 as of August 8, 2018
  • IB6253/6252 to New York will feature the A350 as of September 1, 2018

Iberia’s A350s will be configured with 31 business class seats, 24 premium economy seats, and 293 economy seats. While Iberia hasn’t formally revealed many details about what the onboard product will be like, I wouldn’t get too excited. Based on the A350 seatmap, it looks like they’ll have a staggered configuration in business class.

This looks very similar to the product they currently have, so expect them to just make minor updates to their staggered configuration.

Here are some renderings:

Premium economy will be in a 2-4-2 configuration, while economy will be in a 3-3-3 configuration, so those products will likely be pretty industry standard as well.

Iberia isn’t especially generous when it comes to award availability, though I see a fair amount of business class seats on flights between Madrid and London (where the flight is a special treat, since normally business class within Europe is just economy with a blocked middle seat), and there’s also a bit of availability on flights between Madrid and New York.

Bottom line

Iberia will be getting their first A350 this summer, and the biggest benefit of that is the improved fuel efficiency for the airline. Based on looking at the seatmap, it doesn’t look like any cabin will be particularly revolutionary. If you happen to be flying from Madrid to London this summer, or from Madrid to New York this fall, you have a shot of flying this new plane. I won’t make a special trip to fly the Iberia A350, though if I happen to be crossing the Atlantic, I may route through New York to try it.

Personally it’s not my most anticipated new plane for an airline of the summer. That privilege of course goes to Air Tanzania, and the single 787 they’re taking delivery of…

Does anyone have plans to fly Iberia’s new A350?

Comments

  1. Iberia sucks like shit….
    They are just another idea-less money hungry company and so their product and food sucks like shit!!!

  2. I have tried IBERIA as an alternative to using AA or BA through Heathrow (traveling from New York to elsewhere in Europe).

    It works just fine and the onboard service is often better than BA or AA. The seat is also really good, if you get a window. Lounge in Madrid has a shower.

  3. I wonder if Air Tanzania will actually take delivery of the 788. Looks like they may struggle on making a payment. Bombardier has a newly built Q400 for them for months that has yet to be delivered.

    Perhaps its different since in the US we have the Ex-Im bank that can help.

  4. What are the chances the A350 is flying out of Boston in mid-October?

    I’m booked out of Boston but I check often to see if any seats open up for my dates out of JFK.

  5. I think the IB3166 rotation won’t change, because it is currently the daily A340-600 rotation MAD-LHR-MAD. There were no equipment changes in this rotations in the last time; so I won’t expect any changes until the A350-900.

    There are also other wide-body planes on the route: a BA B767 (1x daily) and a BA B777 (1x daily), so no need for business in economy seats…

    Ulf Müller

  6. I booked an award in business from New York to Madrid route for this November for only 25,500 Avios based on one of your earlier posts. Pretty cool to find out that this will now be operated by the A350 as I’ve not yet flown on this plane.

  7. Booked on MAD-JFK IB 6251 in September… looking forward to enjoying that new plane smell on the ride over.

  8. Service ON BOARD of Iberia is infinitely better than AA (service onboard BA is also infinitely better than AA). The only things I do not like about IB:

    a) For Econ: no ability to select seats until check-in unless you pay extra (but now AA is the same with the cheapest fares).

    b) Barajas… what an awful airport. It takes about 3.5 hours to walk from the international arrivals to the gate for your connection… (just kidding, but it does take more than 25 minues… they even have signs stating that).

  9. It is not that rare! Both BA and Iberia routinely operate 787, 340 etc with international business class on London- Madrid flights. You can check and find this availability via BA.com

  10. I quite like IB business class – in fact, I will fly them next Monday JFK-MAD on my way to BIO. My only pet peeve is that they do not have proper champagne but only cheap cava; however, their reds are usually very good.
    Also, the lounge in Madrid is consistently very good.

  11. Well…interesting to see all these opinions.
    Mine: come on people, IB BC class seat configuration and F&B service is way better than many others, including our common favorite BA ;-).
    ( I flew countless times in BC with BA from BRU to South America…being young and stupid and wasting your money on the wrong products).
    Barajas, including the lounge is awful indeed. Crew is inconsistently good.
    But the (personal) thing is:
    I will not fly again a national carrier ( Europe!) that supports a regime that locks up people with different political views and agendas.

  12. I took IB6250 from JFK to MAD a year and a half ago and was impressed with Iberia’s business class. Granted, I do not have anywhere near the international premium cabin experience that Lucky has, but it was probably the second best international business class I have flown behind that on an American 777-300ER (I am more focused on the hard product than the soft product). I enjoyed the food and found the seat comfortable. I wasn’t able to sleep but that was a function of my excitement over my trip. I would love to use MAD as a gateway to Europe in the future in order to fly on a new A350!

  13. flown many thousands of miles worldwide with IB in business, cannot fault it, look forward to trying the A350

  14. Well, I’m not surprised not seeing too many changes. Their current J product is only two years old (and much better than BA) and their W product is only 1 year old. So I guess it’s a bit too premature to expect yet another product update.

  15. @ FFF

    “I will not fly again a national carrier ( Europe!) that supports a regime that locks up people with different political views and agendas.”

    Yes, I’m intrigued that the Spanish government has got away with this. Self-determination strikes me as an inalienable right: I know Americans disagree (they fought a civil war to prevent secession), but post-Imperial countries should surely celebrate freedom and independence? The attitude of the Spanish government strikes me as being as imperialistic as Argentina’s views on the Falklands.

    Nonetheless, Iberia has nothing to do with the Spanish government. Its parent company, IAG, is an independent corporation which happens to be based in Madrid. Surely if you’re boycotting Iberia you ought also to boycott BA and EI, among others?

    I think Iberia’s J is actually rather good. I travel a lot from London to South America: there are no direct flights to places like Montevideo, so Iberia is a good option. Barajas is vast but also actually rather beautiful. As long as I’m not in a hurry I enjoy tea sitting there.

  16. “Tea sitting”?

    Why did autocorrect think that was better than “transiting”??

    I’d already removed a stupid apostrophe that the damn thing had incorrectly inserted into a possessive “its”. It seems determined to make me look even dumber than I am. Damn it.

  17. Will be flying a code share BA-Iberia Madrid to JFK. My flight info says a340-600. This is a Iberia aircraft, but could they switch to the new a350?
    Thanks

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