Airbus orders still flow, but now just a trickle
Cooling down somewhat from a red-hot commercial start at this year’s Paris Air Show, Airbus yesterday won a pair of modest but significant firm orders–one from Filipino airline Zest Airways for its first new Airbus A320 and the other from French private airline Aigle Azur for a single A319. Zest’s aircraft will join an existing fleet of two A320s the airline bought on the open market last year; Aigle Azur adds to its fleet of 10 A320-family jets, also acquired from third parties.
ZestAir currently serves a network of 18 destinations across the Philippines. It plans to press the new airplane into service on international routes within Asia. Along with the two Airbuses, the airline also flies five Chinese Xi’an Aircraft MA-60 turboprops on domestic routes.
Founded in 1946, Aigle Azur is the oldest private French airline. It became an Airbus operator in 2003 and has operated an all-Airbus fleet since 2005. The airline flies from several cities in France to various destinations including Algeria, Mali, Morocco, Portugal and Tunisia.
Separately, Condor yesterday gave Airbus its first ever contract to retrofit A320 interiors to the new Enhanced Cabin that is now the standard fit on new aircraft. Work will start on the German carrier’s 12 A320s during the fourth quarter of this year. The Enhanced Cabin features 10 percent more space for overhead baggage, more shoulder-level room for passengers and new LED lighting.