London, April 23 (IANS/EFE) International Airline Group, parent company of Iberia and British Airways, announced Monday that it ordered 18 A350-1000s from Airbus to update BA’s fleet.
IAG said its memorandum of understanding with Airbus included firm orders for 18 A350-1000s with options for an additional 18 aircraft.
While IAG and Airbus also agreed on the terms for a possible purchase of planes for Iberia, firm orders will not be placed until the Spanish carrier is positioned for profitable growth after a restructuring, the parent company said.
IAG recently made similar preliminary arrangements with Boeing regarding potential purchases for Iberia.
The A350-1000s will replace some of BA’s Boeing 747-400s on long-haul routes, IAG said.
“The A350-1000 will bring many benefits to our fleet,” IAG CEO Willie Walsh said in a press release.
“Its size and range will be an excellent fit for our existing network and, with lower unit costs, there is an opportunity to operate a new range of destinations profitably,” he said.
Purchasing the aircraft from Airbus will also help preserve manufacturing jobs in both Britain and Spain, Walsh said.