IAG details future fleet plan

Sixteen Boeing 777-300ERs will be in service with British Airways by 2020, IAG’s latest fleet plan shows.

International Airlines Group (IAG), the parent company of British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Level and Vueling, updated its fleet plans for the coming years during its recent annual Capital Markets Day in London.

By the end of this year, IAG will have 386 short-haul aircraft in service, a presentation chart showed. It plans to expand the short-haul fleet to 402 aircraft in 2019, 411 in 2020, 437 in 2021, 448 in 2022 and 467 in 2023. In the long-haul sector, numbers will grow from 201 jets this year to 208 in 2019, then 224 in 2020, 237 in 2021, 245 in 2022 and 249 in 2023. The plan is subject to change, the group noted.

The long-haul network will see the arrival of more Airbus A350s, introduced by Iberia this year, in 2019. Ten will be in IAG service by the end of next year, including four with British Airways; a slide said BA plans to put the A350- 1000 (of which it has ordered 18) into service in July 2019.

The fleet planning chart confirmed BA’s last 767 will be retired next year and the withdrawal schedule of the carrier’s 747-400s. The current 34-strong fleet will reduce to 32 in 2019, then 27 in 2020, 20 in 2021, 13 in 2022 and three in 2023. The same chart also showed Iberia’s current 17-strong A340 fleet will gradually reduce over the next three years, with four left in 2022 before the type leaves service.

The phasing-out of these older types, coupled with the arrivals of new A350s and 787s for long haul plus more A320neo-Family aircraft for short-haul (as well as longer-range A321LRs for Aer Lingus), means the average age of IAG aircraft will reduce year-on year from the peak of 11 seen last year to nine by 2023.

Other significant numbers related to growth plans for Aer Lingus and Level. By 2023, IAG plans for Aer Lingus to have 30 aircraft for long-haul services, up from the current 17. Level’s current nine-strong fleet (five A330s, four A321s) will expand next year to 14, with one A330 added at its Barcelona and Paris bases for long-haul routes and three more A321s added to the short-haul operation in Vienna. Mark Broadbent