EasyJet takes delivery of its first A321neo

Eleanor Steed
By Eleanor Steed July 18, 2018 17:38

EasyJet takes delivery of its first A321neo

easyJet has taken delivery of its first of 30 A321neo aircraft, powered by CFM Leap-1A engines, at a delivery event at the Farnborough international Airshow, attended by easyJet CEO Johan Lundgren, President of CFM International Gaël Méheust and Airbus CEO Tom Enders. They were joined by UK Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling. The aircraft was flown into the airshow by an all-female flight crew.

Just over a year ago easyJet announced an agreement with Airbus to convert 30 existing A320neo orders to the A321neo aircraft with a 235-seat configuration, part of the existing easyJet Airbus agreement dating from 2013.

The first easyJet A321neo is based at London Gatwick Airport and has around 30% more seats on board compared to an A320 and 50% when replacing an A319.

“This larger aircraft will enable us deliver our strategy of securing and growing our number one positions at Europe’s leading and slot-constrained airports,” said Johan Lundgren, easyJet’s CEO. “It will also provide easyJet with the lowest operating costs in the single aisle aircraft category with unit cost savings which are estimated to be up to 9% better than an A320neo and around 21% better than an A319.

“And crucially it will also bring significant environmental and operational benefits which means we will be able to offer more seats and low fares to even more people travelling on Europe’s most popular leisure and business routes, whilst both reducing emissions and noise to mitigate our impact on the communities around the airports we serve.”

“Aviation is a hugely important sector for the UK economy, but we need to make sure growth is sustainable,” said Transport Secretary Chris Grayling. “Technological advancements like easyJet’s new aircraft help make flying quieter, cheaper and more environmentally friendly. That’s why the Government has just announced funding for development of cleaner and greener hybrid aircraft and our aviation strategy will identify further ways to ensure sustainable aviation growth.”

The airline’s A319s are being progressively replaced by A320s, with 40 already replaced. easyJet has also completed the up-gauging of 49 of its existing 180-seat A320s to 186 seats.  In the last six months easyJet has taken delivery of nine A320neo aircraft which provide a per seat cost saving of 7% to 8% compared to the A319 (and an equivalent improvement) through economies of scale, efficiencies in crew, ownership, fuel and maintenance.

Over the coming years easyJet will continue to reduce operating cost per seat and its passengers’ carbon footprint by improving its fleet mix and ownership structure.

Eleanor Steed
By Eleanor Steed July 18, 2018 17:38