Posted on: 22 April 2015 by Ross McSweeny
easyJet and Airbus have celebrated the delivery of the airline’s 250th Airbus A320 family aircraft at a ceremony in Hamburg where Carolyn McCall, easyJet CEO, Jean-Paul Ebanga, CFM International president and CEO, Didier Evrard, Airbus EVP and head of programmes, and Christopher Buckley, Airbus EVP Europe, Africa and Asia-Pacific were all present.
The airline’s newest A320 has a special livery featuring 250 miniature aircraft making up the milestone figure. As with other recent deliveries to easyJet, the A320 is equipped with the latest technology and fuel-saving Sharklets.
easyJet CEO Carolyn McCall remarked, “Taking delivery of our 250th Airbus helps us to continue to make travel easy and affordable. This milestone symbolizes the long term and successful partnership between Airbus and easyJet. It was only four years ago that we celebrated our 200th aircraft delivery. At that time easyJet then became the world’s youngest airline to reach a fleet of 200 Airbus aircraft also achieving it in the fastest time.”
Asked about the timeframe for delivery of the next 50 aircraft, McCall replied, “The fleet plan is flexible, so I cannot give a definite date. But we’d be disappointed if we weren’t at 300 by 2019.”
As to how those upcoming deliveries, including A320neos, would be used, McCall said the airline would expand by a combination of increased frequencies as well as new bases. “The split will be about 70% to thickening routes and 30% from new bases,” she added.
McCall was also asked about UK airport capacity problems – especially around London – once the upcoming general election there is over. “I think 1964 was when they first mentioned a 6-runway airport at (London) Heathrow,” she recalled, noting that the matter has always been highly political. “[The addition of capacity] depends on what government is elected, or what coalition might emerge. I just hope [the Davis report] can get clear-cut political backing.
“We’ve said that for us (London) Gatwick is brilliant. They’ve invested a lot and we have around 60 aircraft based there. But passengers and airlines want more at Heathrow – that’s where the UK demand is,” McCall added.
easyJet has 158 aircraft currently on order, and in terms of total aircraft orders is Airbus’s third biggest airline customer. Currently easyJet flies 85 A320s (180 seats) and 149 A319s (156 seats).
Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/LARAnews.net