Fly Iberia’s New A330-200 Business Class From 9,000 Avios

Iberia A330-200 New

Iberia is in the middle of a fleet renewal program and, as part of that program, it’s taking delivery of 8 new Airbus A330-200 aircraft to replace the ageing and fuel-guzzling Airbus A340-300s. The airline was meant to be receiving the new A330s between December 2015 and late 2017 but the delivery rate has been accelerated to the point where all 8 new aircraft should now be with Iberia before the end of 2016.

In line with expectations Iberia received its first Airbus A330-200 at the end of December but, before the airline is ready to unleash its new aircraft on long-haul international routes, the planes will fly a series of “crew orientation flights” within Europe first.

The schedule for the intra-Europe flights is as follows:

From 19 January 2016

Madrid – Las Palmas Up to 7 weekly (until 28 February , as well as on 25 March)
Madrid – Lisbon 1-2 weekly (Selected weeks until 18 February)

From 20 January 2016

Madrid – Geneva 1-2 weekly (until 20 March)

From 22 January 2016

Madrid – Paris Orly 1-3 weekly

From 23 January 2016

Madrid – London Heathrow 3-4 weekly (Except first-half of February 2016)

From 24 January 2016

Madrid – Barcelona 1 weekly (until 28 February)

From 19 February 2016

Madrid – Milan Malpensa 1-2 weekly (until 18 March, except for 27 February – 10 March)

[HT: airlineroute.net]

Iberia Airbus A330-200

Iberia is configuring its new Airbus A330-200s with just two cabins – Business Class and Economy Class. The aircraft will carry a total of 288 passengers split between the two cabins 19/269.

Notably, for an IAG owned airline, the aircraft will be fitted with WiFi and “a portal through which passengers can connect to the internet using their own devices, or see details about the flight and receive news headlines“.

Most importantly, for Business Class passengers, the A330-200s will feature Iberia’s new “Business Plus” seats which give direct aisle access and expand to give a 6ft 8″ (2m) bed. Full details of the seat here.

Iberia-New-Business-Plus

One thing to note is that, just like with a number of the newer Business Class cabins (e.g. Etihad’s Business Class on their Airbus A380s), there will be good and bad rows to choose from. The image above shows a seat that is exposed to the aisle on one side while the seat in front of it will not have the same disadvantage. …so be careful when choosing your seats.

The new Airbus A330-200 don’t only bring good news for Business Class…there’s a bit of love for Economy Class too. Iberia’s information page states that Economy Class seats will have and interior seat width of 46cm (18″) which is unusually very generous for a European (or US airline). The seat pitch starts at 79cm (31″) and that’s on the small side….but par for the course nowadays.

Booking An Intra-Europe Flight

The shortest flight on the schedule is the Madrid – Barcelona route and can be booked for 9,000 Avios and $47 in taxes/fees:

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The above screenshots come from BA.com and you can check that the aircraft scheduled for the flight is the one you want by clicking on the flight number…which will give you the flight and aircraft information:

iberia-a330-europe-flight

While that’s the cheapest option (Avios-wise) I’d probably opt for a longer flight in order to maximise my time with the new product. There’s good availability for London-Madrid at 12,750 Avios + $83 although that would appear to require an overnight in Madrid due to the arrival time.

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If you’re interested in trying out the new aircraft and the new cabins then have a play around with various routes and dates and see what works best for you – a cheap economy class fare in one direction with an Avios redemption the other way may work well for those not swimming in spare Avios 🙂

Bottom Line

I tried out the Finnair Airbus A350 XWB when Finnair were doing their crew orientation flights around Europe in October last year and I had a blast. I’ve got a lot of travel lined up in the next few months so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to squeeze one of these flights in but, if you like premium cabins and you don’t much like paying for them (who does?!) this could be worth considering.

Featured image: Iberia A330-200 courtesy of Airbus