20 October 2003
IBERIA recently presented at Barcelona airport the new Airbus A340-600, the latest passenger-transport plane which is to replace the Boeing 747 fleet on intercontinental routes.
HRH Princess Cristina presided over the aircraft's christening, unveiling the plane's name at a ceremony in which a few words were spoken by Mr. Ramon Boixadós, Chairman of the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation and of the Dalí Year Executive Committee, and by Mr. Fernando Conde, chairman of IBERIA. The aircraft is an improved version of the A340-300, eighteen of which remain in service. It retains the same fuselage diameter, but has been lengthened by eleven metres and can now accommodate 350 passengers, 100 more than the previous model. The first A340-600 came into service in August 2002. The first plane of this new model was christened with the name of another illustrious Catalan, Antoni Gaudí. Other Spanish personalities lending their names to Iberia planes are Rosalía de Castro, Emilia Pardo Bazán, Teresa de Ávila, Cervantes, Calderón de la Barca, etc.
This Airbus features the latest technological advances: the pilots' cabin has electronically controlled flight command, while the passenger cabin is very spacious and comfortable. The plane is propelled by four Rolls-Royce Trent 556 engines and is equipped with ARINC GLOBALink satellite-communication equipment and ultra-modern in-flight entertainment such as the InFlight Communicator from Matsushita.
Background: Salvador Dalí had already linked his signature with IBERIA back in 1972, when he painted two interior panels for two DC-10 aircraft. These works are on display in the Board of Directors meeting room at the company's head office.