During its Capital Markets Day earlier this month, IAG International Airlines Group revealed its latest longhaul fleet renewal and growth plans, centred primarily on its full-service carriers British Airways (BA, London Heathrow) and Iberia (IB, Madrid Barajas).

In the seven-year period ending on December 31, 2019, the airline group will have inducted 94 aircraft into its long-haul fleet, facilitating its aircraft replacement and growth needs. During this seven-year period, starting in 2013, British Airways began its replacement of its B747-400 and B767-300(ER) fleets.

Its last B767-300(ER)s have already left the fleet, however, the reduction of the remaining 32-strong fleet of B747-400s, a process which started in Q4 2008, will shrink to 25 by the end of 2020, 20 by 2021 and just 12 units will remain in 2022. Ultimately the airline's flagship aircraft will have been fully phased out by 2024.

The UK national carrier will begin the phased withdrawal of its 46-strong B777-200 fleet from 2020 onwards, with three aircraft (all B777-200s) to be replaced by four B777-300(ER)s due from next year, leaving its 43 B777-200(ER)s. Its B777-300(ER) fleet will thus grow in size from 12 to 16 units.

These four B777-300(ER)s form part of the 51 replacement and growth aircraft that IAG is due to take delivery of between 2020 and 2022. IAG's presentation indicated that by 2029, it will only have eight B777-200(ER)s remaining. From 2022 the airline group will start taking delivery of its B787-9 order, with eight scheduled to arrive in that year, as these aircraft begin to replace the residual B777-200(ER)s.

Looking at Iberia's long-haul fleet renewal and expansion, this started in 2019, as the Spanish national carrier commenced the replacement of its 16-strong A340-600 fleet. It will end 2020 with 10 units, falling to nine in 2021 and only five A340-600s by 2022. IAG is targetting the full withdrawal of the four-engined airframe by 2025.

The presentation also indicated that during 2023 and 2029 it will receive 66 long-haul aircraft into its combined fleet, all of which will be used for replacement rather than growth.