Iberia presents revamped A350-900 cabin

Iberia has unveiled its new A350-900 cabin, which the airline calls ‘Next’ to highlight the fact that it offers various structural improvements over older airframes of this same model.

The Spanish flag carrier is actually the launch airline for this new package of improvements introduced by Airbus. Amongst the new features, which result in better aerodynamic performance and less fuel burn, is a saving of one ton of weight thanks to the use of lighter materials. They also include new flap positions, which improve performance in high and hot environments such as several of Iberia’s Latin American airport destinations, and landing gear with higher retraction speeds.

In terms of the cabin itself, this iteration of the A350 has thinner walls, making it possible to gain an additional centimetre of space. Iberia sources speaking at the cabin presentation event explained that they had considered going 10-abreast in economy but had discarded the possibility, keeping the current 9-abreast configuration and offering this extra space to the passengers to improve their in-flight experience.

Another key change is that Iberia has removed the overhead bins in the central part of the business class cabin in order to enhance the sense of space.

Iberia’s new cabin is fitted with 31 Recaro CL6720 lie-flat business class seats, as well as 28 premium economy and 293 economy class seats which are also made by Recaro.

All seats across the board are fitted with Panasonic 4K screens.

The cabin revamp is part of a broader initiative to update the product and brand, following the introduction of new crew uniforms and renewed onboard catering options last June.

Iberia plans to have eight aircraft fitted with this new cabin type by 2024. Four of the aircraft in question are already part of the fleet, with two more joining in 2023 and an additional two the following year.

Iberia had planned to introduce the new cabins earlier this year, but supply chain issues affecting the business class seats caused a slight delay. In fact, the public could already get a glimpse of Iberia’s new product, as it had been operating two partly re-configured aircraft, without business class, on some routes earlier this year.

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