What Became Of Iberia’s Boeing 757s?

Madrid-based Spanish flag carrier and oneworld member Iberia presently operates an all-Airbus fleet of both narrowbody and widebody aircraft. However, this hasn’t always been the case. For a 13-year spell that straddled the turn of the century, the airline also flew 30 examples of Boeing’s iconic 757 twinjet. Let’s take a look at the story of Iberia’s relationship with the 757, and where the planes ended up after their time at the Spanish flag carrier.

Iberia Boeing 757
Iberia flew the 757 from 1993 to 2006. Photo: Aero Icarus via Flickr

All one variant

It is important to establish first of all that all 30 of Iberia‘s Boeing 757s belonged to the standard 757-200 variant. This is perhaps to be expected, given the significant gulf in popularity there ended up being between this version and the stretched 757-300 design.

Boeing produced more than 1,000 examples of the 757 (including freighters) during a production spell that lasted 23 years, from 1981 to 2004. Of these, just 55 were the longer 757-300 version. Iberia’s 757-200s featured a 200-seat, two-class configuration.

When did they arrive?

According to data from ch-aviation.com, 1993 heralded the arrival of Iberia’s first three 757s. The maiden example to join the fleet (in June 1993) was re-registered by the end of the year, from EC-420 to EC-FTR. The other two (EC-421 and EC-422) joined the Spanish flag carrier in August 1993. They were re-registered as EC-FUA and EC-FUB in 1994.

Iberia Boeing 757
EC-FTR, seen here in Rome in 1994, was Iberia’s first 757. Photo: kitmasterbloke via Flickr

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1994 was a busier year for 757 arrivals at Iberia, with a further five coming onboard, bringing the total to eight. Things then quietened down somewhat, with no deliveries until 1997, when two arrived. 1998 saw another four 757s come onboard, followed by eight in 1999. This figure was repeated in 2000, with eight final deliveries bringing the total to 30.

When did they leave?

The first 757 to leave Iberia was EC-FXU, which departed the airline after four years in 1997. This aircraft had been re-registered twice during its time at the Spanish flag carrier. It went on to fly for Pace Airlines, Elan Express, and Parallel Express. It remains active as a 63-seat all-business-class corporate jet, and last flew on June 6th, according to RadarBox.com.

2000 saw four 757s leave, three of which had only been with Iberia for three years or less. These aircraft went on to Avianca and National Airlines (two each), but three have sadly now been scrapped in the US. The fourth remains in storage in Orlando, Florida.

Icelandair Boeing 757
Several of Iberia’s 757s went on to fly for Icelandair. Photo: Oliver Holzbauer via Flickr

Meanwhile, 2001 saw five 757s depart from the Spanish flag carrier. Curiously, they all left on the same date (November 1st). Two of these ended up at Icelandair, which would become quite a trend for ex-Iberia 757s. The others went to the likes of Air Anatolia, Cebu Pacific Air, and Harmony Airways. Only one has been scrapped thus far.

Iberia’s remaining 757s left the fleet in 2002, 2003 (one aircraft each), 2004 (four aircraft), 2005 (three aircraft), and 2006 (10 aircraft). This flurry of mid-200s departures took the aircraft to a wide variety of carriers. To name just a few, their destinations included airBaltic (Latvia), Atlasjet (Turkey), RAK Airways (UAE), Titan Airways (UK), and Varig (Brazil).

Did you know that Iberia used to operate the Boeing 757? What are your memories of flying on the aircraft? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

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