Iberia has confirmed to AeroNewsX that it will be retiring its fleet of 14 Airbus A340-600s this year as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
In a statement to AeroNewsX, Iberia confirmed: "We already had a A340-600 withdrawal plan that, due to current situation, it has been advanced. We had 17 A340-600 aircraft in our fleet: last year we retired 3; this year it was planned to withdraw another 4, and the other 10 left for next years are those that we have been anticipated to 2020."
An Iberia Airbus A340-600, registered EC-LCZ. Photo by Adam Lanzen | AeroNewsX
The airline's current fleet of Airbus A340s are between 10 and 17 years old. The carrier took delivery of its first Airbus A340 in 2003. The first plane, registered EC-INO is named "Gaudi" and is currently the carrier's oldest active Airbus A340.
Upon delivery of the type, Iberia was set to deploy the aircraft on routes between Spain and the Americas - a market which, at the time, the plane was best suited for. Iberia has been an Airbus customer since 1978.
When Iberia retires its Airbus A340-600s, there will be a very limited number of operators of the aircraft type worldwide, including the likes of Plus Ultra, Lufthansa and Mahan Air among others.
Iberia's latest announcement follows similar moves to remove four-engined aircraft from service from airlines across the globe, including Air France which announced the immediate withdrawal of its entire Airbus A380 fleet last month.