EasyJet Joins the Neo Club
UK airline easyJet placed conditional orders with Airbus on Tuesday for 100 new A320neos and 35 Sharklet-equipped A320s worth $12 billion at list prices. The A320s are scheduled for delivery between 2015 and 2017, while the A320neos will be delivered from 2017 to 2022, according to the announcement at the Paris Air Show.
EasyJet said 85 of the aircraft will be used to replace aging aircraft as they leave the fleet over the next nine years; the remaining aircraft deliveries will support the carrier’s strategy of increasing its seat capacity by 3 to 5 percent annually.
Based on fuel price, easyJet said it expects the reengined 180-seat A320neo will deliver a cost per seat savings of around 11 percent to 12 percent compared to the 156-seat A319 narrowbody. The carrier said it is still negotiating with both CFM and Pratt & Whitney over the choice of either Leap or PurePower PW1000G engines, respectively. The selection of a preferred engine supplier will follow shareholder approval of the purchase agreements with Airbus.
“All manufacturers competed hard for the easyJet business,” said Carolyn McCall, easyJet chief executive. “Both Airbus and Boeing offered us new generation aircraft that met our requirements and offered greatly improved fuel efficiency. Ultimately, Airbus offered us the best deal, and at a price with a greater discount to the list price than their landmark fleet purchase with easyJet in 2002.” EasyJet said it negotiated “a very substantial discount from the list price” of the A320, listed at $76.2 million, and the A320neo, listed at $92.3 million.
“The Neo is without doubt the most productive and fuel efficient aircraft around,” said John Leahy, chief operating officer for customers. “It has the widest and tallest cabin of any single-aisle aircraft for faster turnaround operations and better passenger comfort. We are delighted our reliable aircraft have met easyJet’s demanding criteria.”