What Happened To Iberia’s Retired Airbus A340s? – Simple Flying


Today we thought we would look at what has happened to Iberias’ fleet of retired Airbus A340-300 and Airbus A340-600 aircraft. Like other operators of the thirsty four-engined aircraft, Iberia decided last year that it would need to upgrade to newer, more fuel-efficient twin-engined planes for it to be competitive.

 

Iberia A340
Iberia received its first A340 in 1996. Photo: Iberia

Initially, the Spanish national flag carrier said that it would gradually retire the planes over the next five years, with its last five A340-600s due to retire in 2025. When passenger numbers suddenly dropped following the COVID-19 pandemic, Iberia’s owners IAG decided that rather than keep the A340 and Boeing 747 in service that they should all be retired early and replaced with newer planes.

Iberia named its A340s after famous Spaniards

While Iberia was not the launch customer or had the largest fleet of Airbus A340s, it did rely on the European-built plane to transport passengers on long-haul routes from Madrid for 24 years. Since first taking its first A340-300 in 1996, Iberia used the aircraft on long-haul routes, including its longest non-stop 13-hour route between Madrid and Santiago, Chile.

Iberia chose to name its first Airbus A340s after famous Spanish women such as the poet  Rosalía de Castro and the lexicographer María Moliner. Later this changed to become the names of renowned Spanish painters, musicians, scientists, and writers. The only three exceptions were EC-LHM- Galápagos-Ecuador, EC-LEU- Río Amazonas, and the last A340 to be delivered to Iberia EC-LFS- Ciudad de México.

According to the aviation enthusiast website, Planespotters.net, Iberia had 21 Airbus A340-300s and 18 of the longer Airbus A340-600s. Below is a list of the planes by the registration number and the delivery date.

Iberia Airbus A340-300

EC-GGS-Concha Espina was delivered to Iberia  in June 1996 and scrapped in January 2016

EC-GHX-Rosalía de Castro was delivered to Iberia in November 1996 and scrapped in March 2016

EC-GJT-Rosa Chacel was delivered to Iberia in November 1996 and scrapped in August 2016

EC-GLE-Concepcion Arenal was delivered to Iberia in January 1997 and sent to Global Knafaim Leasing in November 2016 before going to Aero Capital Solutions (ACS) in march 2017 before being scrapped in Spain in December 2018.

EC-GPB– Teresa de Avila was delivered to Iberia in October 1997 before being sold to Aerolineas Argentinas in October 2013. In September 2020, the plane was broken up at SFB in Orlando, Florida.

EC-GQK– Emilia Pardo Bazan was delivered to Iberia in November 1997 and then sent to Airbus in February 2010 before being leased by South African Airways the same year. Currently, the plane is listed as being stored.

EC-GUP– Agustina de Aragon was delivered to Iberia in May 1998 and scrapped in November 2016.

EC-GUQ– Beatriz Galindo was delivered to Iberia in June 1998 and scrapped in October 2016.

EC-HDQ– Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz was delivered to Iberia in December 1999 and returned to Airbus in 2012. The plane then went to Spain’s Plus Ultra before joining Philippine Airlines in June 2013. In June of 2019, the plane flew for Afganistan’s Kam Air and is now listed as being stored at Queen Alia International Airport (AMM) in Amman, Jordan.

EC-HGU– Maria de Molina was delivered to Iberia in February 2000 and later returned to Airbus in 2012. In 2013 it entered service with Philippine Airlines before joining Kam Air in April 2018. The aircraft’s current status is listed as being active.

EC-HGV– Maria Guerrero was delivered to Iberia in August 2000 and scrapped in Madrid in 2019.

EC-HGX– Maria Pita was delivered to Iberia in April 2000 and returned to Airbus in 2012. The plane joined Philippine Airlines a year later and, since July 2019, has been with
80C2 Partners. Currently, the aircraft is listed as being stored at Istanbul Ataturk Airport (ILS).

EC-HQF– Maria de Zayas y Sotomayor was delivered to Iberia in January 2001 and returned to Airbus in March 2010. The Aircraft went to South African Airways in October 2010 and is now stored at O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg, South Africa.

EC-ICF– Maria Zambrano was delivered to Iberia in February 2002 and joined Philippine Airlines in April 2014. In April 2018, the aircraft went to Philipp Aviation Consulting & Engineering before joining Plus Ultra in 2019. The aircraft is currently listed as being active.

EC-IDF– Mariana Pineda was delivered to Iberia in May of 2002 and went to Philippine Airlines in July 2014. In November 2019, it went to 80C2 Partners and is currently listed as being stored at Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport (SZB) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

EC-IIH– Maria Barbara de Braganza was delivered to Iberia in December 2002. The aircraft then went to Azur Aviation in 2015 and then Eagle Aviation Fzc in May 2016. In February 2018, it joined the Hi Fly Malta fleet and is currently listed as being active.

EC-KCL– Juan Ramon Jimenez was delivered to Iberia from Air France in March 2007 and is listed as being scrapped in 2018 at Phoenix Goodyear Airport (GYR) in Arizona.

EC-KOU– La Dama de Elche joined Iberia in February 2008 after having been in service with Air Canada since June 1995. The aircraft is now listed as being broken up at Phoenix Goodyear Airport (GYR) in 2017.

EC-KSE– Clara Campoamor joined Iberia in June 2008 after having been in service with Air Canada since April 1997. The aircraft returned to Air Canada in February 2013 and then entered service with Aerolineas Argentinas in December the same year. The aircraft is currently listed as being stored at Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) in Florida.

EC-LHM– Galápagos-Ecuador was delivered to Iberia from Airbus in March  2001 with the registration EC-HQH and the name Mariana de Silva. The aircraft was returned to Airbus in July 2010 before returning to Iberia the same month as EC-LHM- Galápagos-Ecuador. In 2013 the aircraft was acquired by Philippine Airlines and then Kam Air in 2018. The aircraft is currently listed as being stored at Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) in Florida.

EC-LKS– Plácido Domingo joined Iberia as EC-HQN- Luisa Carvajal y Mendoza  in July 2001. Aircraft leasing company GECAS acquired the plane in February 2011 and then leased it back to Iberia as EC-LKS- Plácido Domingo. For two more years, the aircraft flew for Iberia before being scrapped at Greenwood–Leflore Airport (GWO), Mississippi, in 2013.

Iberia Airbus A340-600

Iberia A340
Iberia used the A340 on long-haul routes from Madrid. Photo: Iberia

EC-INO– Gaudí was delivered to Iberia in June 2003 and was acquired by Maltas’ Air X Charter in January 2021 and is currently stored at Châteauroux-Centre “Marcel Dassault” Airport (CHR) in France.

EC-IOB– Julio Romero de Torres was delivered to Iberia in August 2003 and sold to Air X Charter in January 2021. The plane is currently being stored at Châteauroux-Centre “Marcel Dassault” Airport (CHR) in France.

EC-IQR– Salvador Dalí was delivered to Iberia in October 2003 and is currently stored at Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport (MAD) in Spain since March 2020.

EC-ICX– Mariano Benlliure was delivered to Iberia in March 2004 and has been in storage at Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport (MAD) since May 2020.

EC-IZY was delivered to Iberia in November 2004 and has been in storage at Castellón–Costa Azahar Airport (CDT) in Spain since November 2020.

EC-JBA Joaquin Rodrigo was delivered to Iberia in November 2004 and has been in storage at Ciudad Real, Airport (CQM) since August 2020.

EC-JCY– Andrés Segovia was delivered to Iberia in January 2005 and was broken up at Teruel Airport (TEV) in Spain in August 2020.

EC-JCZ– Vicente Aleixandre was delivered to Iberia in February 2005 and has been in storage at Teruel Airport (TEV) in Spain since January 2020.

EC-JFX– Jacinto Benavente was delivered to Iberia in June 2005 and has been in storage at Teruel Airport (TEV) in Spain since March 2020.

EC-JLE– Santiago Ramón y Cajal was delivered to Iberia in October 2005 and has been in storage at Castellón–Costa Azahar Airport (CDT) in Spain since October 2020.

EC-JNQ– Antonio Machado was delivered to Iberia in February 2006 and has been in storage at Ciudad Real, Airport (CQM) since January 2021.

Iberia A340
After the plane overran the runway at Quito, Iberia decided to scrap it. Photo: Aero Icarus via Wikipedia

EC-JOH– Miguel de Unamuno was delivered to Iberia in March 2006. On  November 9, 2007, the aircraft overran the runway at Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO) in Quito, Ecuador suffering severe damage to its engines and landing gear. With the plane requiring too much work, Iberia wrote it off and had it broken up for parts a year later.

EC-JPU– Pío Baroja was delivered to Iberia in April 2006 and has been in storage at Ciudad Real, Airport (CQM) since October 2020.

EC-KZI– Miguel Hernández was delivered to Iberia in June 2009 and has been in storage at Ciudad Real, Airport (CQM) since July 2020.

EC-LCZ– Miguel Servet was delivered to Iberia in September 2009 and has been in storage at Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport (MAD) since March 2020.

EC-LEU– Río Amazonas was delivered to Iberia in July 2009 and has been in storage at Ciudad Real, Airport (CQM) since November 2020.

EC-LEV– Isaac Albéniz was delivered to Iberia in March 2010 and has been in storage at Ciudad Real, Airport (CQM) since August 2020.

EC-LFS– Ciudad de México was delivered to Iberia in July 2010 and has been in storage at Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport (MAD) since February 2020.

Did you ever fly on an Iberia A340? If you did, we would love to hear what you thought about it in the comments.



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