Iberia hopes to finalise its long- haul fleet-renewal plan next month to enable it to place orders for up to 10 aircraft for delivery from late 2004.

According to Flight International's sister on-line publication Air Transport Intelligence, the Spanish flag carrier is evaluating the Airbus A340-600, Boeing 747-400 and the Boeing 777-300ER to replace its six Boeing 747-200s. Although the carrier has already arranged to lease three A340-600s for five years from next June to replace three 747-300s leased from Air Atlanta, Iberia's director fleet planning and environment Arturo Benito says the competition remains open to both manufacturers.

Next on Iberia's agenda is a long-term plan for its 37-strong Boeing MD-80 fleet beyond 2005. "We are looking at modifications that Boeing would offer for them in terms of fuel consumption and reducing the noise and emissions," says Benito. These include Stage 4 and emission reduction modifications for the aircraft's Pratt and Whitney JT8D-200 engines, and winglets which would reduce fuel consumption by 3-4%.

Source: Flight International