Posted on: 17 January 2011 by Mark Howells
Virgin America has completed an order for 60 new Airbus A320s (including 30 A320neo aircraft) with deliveries starting in 2013, which both firms up and expands on the commitment announced at last year’s Farnborough Airshow.
As all of these are firm orders, they are the first for the A320neo, following the recent MoU from IndiGo for 150 A320neo aircraft. With this order and growth from other sources, Virgin America’s fleet will more than triple in size from its current 34 aircraft to 111 aircraft by 2019.
The 30 current technology A320s are slated for delivery from 2013-2016 with the 30 neo aircraft to follow from early 2016. The A320neo will offer 15% gains in fuel efficiency, along with the accompanying improvements in carbon efficiency – including double digit reductions in NOx emissions. The A320neo offers reduced engine noise, lower operating costs and up to 500 nautical miles more range.
“At just three years old and at a time when many carriers are contracting, we’re pleased to be growing and bringing our award-winning service to new markets,” remarked Virgin America president and CEO, David Cush. “We credit a great deal of our success to date to having the right aircraft. Our all new Airbus A320 family fleet has helped fuel our growth and success in the North American market – and we’re confident the A320neo will only build on that.”
In reference to the milestone order, Airbus president and CEO Tom Enders commented, “We hit our 5,000th order in August 2004 – after more than 30 years. To achieve the 10,000th order just over six years later is a ringing endorsement of our product line. And it gives a strong boost to our new, eco-efficient A320neo when ?Virgin America, one of our newest and trendiest customers, places the first firm order, for which we are extremely grateful."
The photo shows Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson (2nd right) and Virgin America president and CEO David Cush (left) joined by Airbus CEO Tom Enders (right) and Airbus COO–customers John Leahy (2nd left) one of the new aircraft during the Airbus annual press conference at Toulouse, France.