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IAG slashes Iberia A340s but indicates additional BA 777s

International Airlines Group will bring in additional Boeing 777s for British Airways but slash Iberia's Airbus A340s and A320s under its fleet plan to 2015.

Deliveries of some of BA's Boeing 787s will also be deferred beyond 2015 under the plan, disclosed as IAG detailed a far-reaching restructuring of Iberia's operations.

Iberia would have had 40 A330/340s by 2015 under IAG's original fleet schedule, with eight A330s due to be delivered over the interim period.

But the Iberia long-haul fleet will instead drop to 29 in 2015 as A340s are withdrawn, according to a detailed schedule breakdown given by IAG chief financial officer Enrique Dupuy.

Scheduled delivery of five remaining 777s on order would have taken BA's 777 fleet from 49 to 54 during 2011-15, but the amended plan shows an increase of nine 777s which will take the carrier's total from 52 this year to 58 in 2015.

Over the same time period BA will take only 12, rather than 16, of its 24 Boeing 787s, the remainder being scheduled for post-2015 delivery.

BA's A380 delivery schedule remains unchanged.

The net effect will be to slow the expansion of IAG's long-haul fleet, which will increase from 153 to 160 aircraft by 2015, rather than the 167 previously projected.

Iberia's overall A320 fleet, which includes 14 operated by low-cost arm Iberia Express, will be cut from 77 this year to 52 in 2015.

BA, however, has gained 25 A320s this year from the integration of BMI, and will take delivery of another 10 by 2015, taking its A320 fleet from 110 to 120 during 2012-15.

IAG has put forward an offer to acquire the outstanding shareholding in low-cost operator Vueling, which operates 57 A320s.

These changes, including a juggling of other short-haul types, will cut IAG's short-haul fleet from 227 aircraft to 198 by 2015. Dupuy's schedule also indicates a reduction in IAG's post-2015 A320 orders from 12 to eight.

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