There was a time not so long ago when Spain’s national flag carrier used to operate the Boeing 737. However, with a current fleet of 86 Airbus aircraft, there is not a Boeing 737 in sight.
Based at Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport (MAD), the Spanish full-service airline once operated a fleet of ten Boeing 737 aircraft. However, Iberia fell out of love with one of Boeing’s best-selling aircraft, now preferring the Airbus A320 family of jets.
Iberia’s first Boeing 737 was the 200 series
The first of the Seattle-made planes to arrive in sunny Spain was a 737-200 variant, registration number EC-CHX. This was delivered in April 1974 and flew for one month before being sent to now-defunct TAN Honduras.
The next four Boeing 737-300 type aircraft started arriving in the winter of 1988. The last one of these to arrive was in September of 1999.
The first of the 737-300s was registration EC-EAK. This was leased from Spain’s Air Europa and was in service with Iberia for two years before being moved on to Guatemala’s Aviateca. A second Boeing 737-300, registration number EC-EHM, was delivered a couple of months later from Air Europa. Just like the first -300 series, this one also ended up in Guatemala after just two years with Iberia.
The third Boeing 737-300, registration number EC-EHX, arrived in December of 1988 and was dispatched to Spain’s Viva Air a year later. Planespotters now lists the aircraft as being scrapped.
The fourth and final 737-300 series aircraft was registration EC-FFN, which arrived at Iberia in September of 1999. This flew with Iberia for just three months before joining Rocky Mountain based Frontier Airlines. In March 1998, Iberia received its first Boeing 737-400, which was registration EC-FXP. This airliner flew with Iberia for six months before being passed on to Air Europa.
All Iberia’s remaining 737s were sold in 2001
A second 400 series jet, registration number EC-FXQ, arrived a month later. This plane suffered the same fate, moving on to Air Europa in September of 1998.
The third Boeing 737-400, registration number EC-GAZ, also arrived in March of 1998 but flew with Iberia for nearly three years before going to Italy’s Air One. In a part of the same deal, another Boeing 737-400, registration number EC-GBN, also went to Air One at the same time as EC-GAZ in 2001.
The final Boeing 737-400, registration number EC-GPI arrived with Iberia at the same time as the previous two. However, instead of moving on to Air One in 2001, it went into service with Air Europa.
Iberia decided that an all-Airbus fleet was the way to go
The time to go shopping for widebody jets to replace aging Boeing 747s came. Iberia decided that by supporting a European plane maker and only buying Airbus planes, it would make their operations simpler and cheaper.
This, in effect, sealed the fate of all the airlines Boeing aircraft, with Airbus and its A350 leading the way for the Spanish airline.
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