Iberia took delivery today in Toulouse of its first new A340-600. This aircraft, named "Gaudi" after the famous Spanish Catalan architect, is part of a first order of three, which will be followed by another five with planned deliveries between 2004 and 2006. The ultra-long range, high capacity aircraft will join Iberiaís current fleet of A340-300s and will be operated on the Spanish flag carrierís major hub routes from Madrid to Mexico, New York JFK, Buenos Aires and Lima.

Iberia's configuration of the new aircraft features a spacious 342-seat layout, offering accommodation for ten passengers in First class, 42 in Business and 290 in Economy. Powered by four Rolls Royce Trent 500 engines, the aircraft is also equipped with the very latest in passenger entertainment and communication systems.

The largest member of Airbus' market leading A330/A340 Family, the A340-600 provides operators with unrivalled standards of space, comfort and amenity in each cabin class. It has the same type rating as the A340-300, enabling pilots to fly either aircraft type with a single licence endorsement. True to Airbus' unique family concept, it also offers an exceptional degree of operational commonality with all other Airbus fly-by-wire aircraft, so pilots can transition from one type to another with only minor additional training time.

"It is a source of great pride for Iberia to be one of Airbus largest customers in the world, and one of the first to introduce the largest aircraft to date, the A340-600 in the American market, particularly on routes to and from Latin America," said Fernando Conte, President of Iberia.

"We are delighted that the A340-600 will join the Iberia long-range fleet," said NoŽl Forgeard, Airbus President and Chief Executive Officer. "In the current challenging operating environment, airlines now have to focus more than ever on the selection of the right aircraft, and the A340-600 clearly appears as the ideal choice for Iberia's mix of routes to the Americas."

Iberia, an Airbus customer since 1978, and the largest in Southern Europe, has ordered a total of 107 aircraft from Airbus, comprising 26 A340s and 75 A320 Family aircraft.

A leading aircraft manufacturer with the most modern and comprehensive product line on the market, Airbus is a global company with design and manufacturing facilities in France, Germany, the UK, and Spain as well as subsidiaries in the U.S., China and Japan. Headquartered in Toulouse, France, Airbus is an EADS joint Company with BAE SYSTEMS.