Spain's Iberia Express, the low-cost subsidiary of flag carrier Iberia, has taken delivery of its first Airbus A321neo despite the impact of the coronavirus crisis.
The first Iberia Express Airbus A321neo pictured at Airbus' Hamburg facility prior to delivery. Photo by Pascal Weste | AeroNewsX
Iberia Express says the latest delivery allows it to enter the summer season with a strong start as airlines begin to resume flights.
The Chief Executive Officer of Iberia Express, Carlos Gómez Suarez, said that “the arrival of this aircraft, and three more units throughout 2020, will undoubtedly help us further consolidate the value proposition for our customers, improving their experience on board, but also to reinforce ourselves at a key moment in which Iberia Express gradually recovers its activity, prioritizing safety above all, but without forgetting our firm commitment to sustainability."
The company noted the Airbus A321neo's improvements on previous generation models, including a 17% increase in overall efficiency as well as a 15% reduction in CO2 emissions brought about by better fuel consumption. Furthermoore, Iberia Express notes a significant reduction in noise levels.
The aircraft features 232 seats which represents a 6% increase on the carrier's existing Airbus A321ceo models.
Given the airline's strong commitment to the regions, Iberia Express will mainly be deploying its new Airbus A321neo on services to the Canary and Balearic archipelagoes from the Spanish mainland. This includes flights to Tenerife North, Gran Canaria and Mallorca as well as services to Ibiza on the peninsula.
The CEO said: "From the birth of Iberia Express we have a very special link with the Canary and Balearic Islands. For this reason, we are sure that the use of this A321neo will be very well received by our customers, not only because of the greater width between seats but because of the elements that this model of airplane incorporates: less noise in the cabin, new wider overhead bins and more capacity."
In fact, the latest delivery is a testament to the ever-differentiating business models of low-cost and premium carriers. Previously, low-cost carriers have been widely regarded for their fast growth and evidently, low prices. Such is set to continue, with low-cost carriers across Europe following a similar trend: continuing their growth and taking advantage of the current pandemic in an effort to gain market share.
Over the coming days, Iberia Express' new plane will undergo 'certain modifications' and certification checks before being deployed on the carrier's services. Due to the aircraft's similarity to existing members of the Iberia Express fleet, crew familiarisation will not be much of a problem.