Flying FIA visit by easyJet’s A321neo

easyJet celebrated the delivery of its first Airbus A321neo aircraft by marking the event with a flight to the Farnborough International Airshow.

The 235-seat aircraft is the 308th to join the low-fare giant’s fleet and becomes its largest capacity platform. The carrier announced an agreement with Airbus last year to convert 30 existing A320neo orders to the A321neo.

This first one – flown into FIA by an all-female flight crew – will be based at London Gatwick Airport and fly to sunshine holiday destinations such as Malaga, Alicante and Palma. It has around 30% more seats compared to an A320 and 50% more than a A319.

The airline’s fleet is split between 156-seat A319s, 180-seat A320s, 186-seat A320s and now the 235-seat A321. The 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 it has taken delivery of nine A320neos, which provide a per seat cost saving of 7-8% compared to the A319.

Johan Lundgren, easyJet’s CEO, said in Farnborough: “We are delighted to mark the delivery of our first A321neo aircraft today. 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. 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.”

The A321neos are powered by CFM’s LEAP-1A engine. Gaël Méheust, CFM’s CEO, said: “This is a great day in our long relationship with easyJet. In the past year, they have done a great job of integrating the LEAP engine into their fleet. The A321neo, coupled with the outstanding operating economics of the LEAP-1A engine, will make this airplane a real asset for them.”

 

Written by: Mark Thomas

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