What Happened To Iberia’s Boeing 757 Aircraft?

Spain’s flag carrier, Iberia, currently operates a fleet of 86 aircraft – all of them made by Airbus. There was a time when Iberia ventured to other manufacturers for its aircraft. Although it has none at the moment, the airline has flown a number of different Boeing types throughout its history. The majority of these were Boeing 757s, so what happened to them after their time at Iberia?

An Iberia Boeing 757
Iberia once operated 30 Boeing 757s. Photo: Aero Icarus via Flickr

Having owned a total of 30 different examples at various points in its history, the Boeing 757 was once an important part of Iberia’s fleet.

Iberia took delivery of its first Boeing 757s, direct from Boeing, back in 1993. In fact, the majority of the Boeing 757s Iberia added to its inventory throughout the 90s were brand new from the manufacturer. The only second hand Boeing 757s Iberia ever bought were a handful of ex-Air Europa aircraft in 1997.

The various Boeing 757s in the Iberia fleet went on to follow many different paths. Some only lasted a few years at the airline before moving on to different carriers.

By 2004, the main exodus of the Boeing 757 from the Iberia fleet had begun and by 2006 the final Boeing 757 flying Iberia colors moved on to a new airline. However, that was not the end of the line for most of the aircraft, many of which are still in operation today.

Transfers to Icelandair

In one way or another, a large portion of the ex-Iberia’s Boeing 757s made their way to Icelandair. Many were bought direct from Iberia when it decided to sell and quite a few others ended up being sold to Icelandair after serving stints in operation for other airlines.

An Icelandair Boeing 757
Boeing 757s make up the majority of Icelandair’s fleet. Photo: Aero Icarus via Flickr

In total, 14 of the 30 ex-Iberia Boeing 757s made their way to Icelandair. Many then moved elsewhere after Icelandair.

Just as Iberia has a bit of a love affair with Airbus at the moment, Icelandair has something for the Boeing 757. Out of the total 38 aircraft in its fleet, 27 are Boeing 757s, likely due to the specific combination of capacity, range and cost that the aircraft offers the Icelandic airline.

Icelandair gives all its aircraft names, usually topographical features or places in Iceland. Names given to the ex-Iberia Boeing 757s include Skjaldbreiður, Grímsvötn, Bláfjall and Vatnajökull – difficult to pronounce but certainly more interesting than a string of numbers.

Transfers to KrasAir

Four of the Iberia Boeing 757s also made their way to KrasAir, an airline most won’t have heard of.

That’s because KrasAir ceased operations more than a decade ago, on 1 November 2008. The airline fell into bankruptcy after racking up huge debts and consequently being refused service by aircraft fuel suppliers.

A KrasAir Boeing 767
KrasAir’s collapse left many aircraft, like this Boeing 767, to be scrapped. Photo: Pavel Adzhigildaev via Wikimedia Commons

Of the four ex-Iberia Boeing 757s which went to KrasAir, three moved on to Icelandair after KrasAir’s collapse, whilst the remaining aircraft was stored indefinitely.

Transfers to DHL

Finally, two of the ex-Iberia Boeing 757s were converted into freighters and entered into service with DHL Air, where they remain today.