This afternoon Iberia will take delivery of a new A-319 from the Airbus plant in Toulouse, France. Christened the Visón Europeo [“European Mink”], it is the first aircraft to join the fleet since deliveries were suspended more than a year ago as the company reduced capacity to cope with the global economic slump.
Configured to carry up to 141 passengers, it will operate on Iberia’s domestic, European, and African routes.
Registered as EC-LEI, the new aircraft bears the name and picture of the European mink on the fuselage. The name will be changed when and if the animal is removed from the list of endangered species. In January, 2007 the Spanish airline instituted this naming policy as a way of bringing attention to Spain’s rich biodiversity to people at all the destinations it serves, and to highlight the endangered wildlife species, some of them unique on the Earth, and the need to protect and preserve them.
With the new aircraft, Iberia has now 22 Airbus A-319s, and the 12 delivered since 2007 are all named for endangered species. Iberia operates a total of 77 aircraft in the Airbus A-320 family which includes the A-319, A-320 and A-321.