Posted on: 18 June 2015 by Ross McSweeny
Wizz Air has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airbus designed to lead to the purchase of 110 Airbus A321neo aircraft with deliveries to start in 2019.
The MoU also provides for uncommitted purchase rights in favour of Wizz Air over an additional 90 A321neos. The new aircraft will both replace current aircraft when they are returned to lessors as well as provide additional capacity for Wizz Air’s further growth.
Wizz Air has the right to substitute a number of the A321neo aircraft with the Airbus A320neo, depending on its future needs. The agreement will also see Wizz Air cancel ten A320ceo family aircraft that were scheduled for delivery in 2018 under Wizz Air’s existing purchase agreement with Airbus.
The order – which will be the largest single order ever placed for A321s – will be firmed up only with the approval of the MoU’s terms by Wizz Air’s board of directors, the successful negotiation of a final purchase agreement and, thereafter, to Wizz Air shareholder approval.
“We looked at different options for this order but Airbus came in with the best overall mix of aircraft, cost efficiency, support and price, so it made sense for us to continue our long relationship with them as we continue to expand our market reach across and beyond Europe,” explained József Váradi, Wizz Air chief executive officer. “Our operations will continue to see significantly lower costs with these new aircraft achieved through cabin innovations, the latest engine technology, and efficiency improvements.
“As the company has recently highlighted, we have an exciting and compelling growth opportunity in Central and Eastern Europe where GDP growth rates significantly exceed those of more mature Western European markets, and the propensity for air travel is growing,” Váradi continued. “Our order for 110 A321neo aircraft will provide the platform to sustain our disciplined expansion over the longer term, enable us to continue to offer low fares to customers across CEE and beyond, and drive strong growth well into the next decade.
“Once finalised, our order will include the new A321neo Airbus Cabin Flex configuration with 239 seats,” Váradi added. “This new engine option (neo) family offers significantly lower operating costs and fuel burn reductions that will directly impact our cost base.”
Wizz Air has taken delivery of 61 Airbus A320s from an order total of 112 that includes 27 high density A321s that will begin delivery in November this year. Deliveries of the remaining 41 aircraft which will remain on order, following the cancellation of 10 aircraft as part of the new order, will continue until mid-2018.
Photo shows József Váradi, Wizz Air chief executive officer, flanked by Airbus CEO Fabrice Bregier (left) and Airbus COO–customers, John Leahy (right).