Dubai Airshow

Jazeera and Ibom Air Boost Airbus With $2.2 Billion Deals

 - November 16, 2021, 5:27 AM
Kuwait's Jazeera Airways will double the size of its fleet when it takes delivery of new Airbus A320neo and A321neo narrowbody airliners. (Photo: Jazeera Airways)

Jazeera Airways is planning to renew its fleet with 20 Airbus A320neos and eight A321neos under a memorandum of understanding signed with the manufacturer on Tuesday. Allowing for replacement of some of the Kuwait-based carrier’s seven A320-200s and six A320neos, the purchase will double the size of its fleet to 35 when deliveries of the new narrowbodies are complete by 2026.

The deal was one of two significant airliner sales announced on the third day of the 2021 Dubai Airshow, with Nigeria's Ibom Air ordering 10 of the A220 narrowbodies.  Based on list prices, the Airbus transactions are valued at around $2.2 billion.

According to Jazeera Airways, CEO Rohit Ramachandran, the new aircraft will allow the operator to expand its network out of Kuwait, with maximum ranges of 3,400 nm for the A320neo and 4,000 nm for A321neo. The carrier has not said how many seats its cabin will have, but the A320 typically can carry up to 180 passengers, rising to 220 for the A321 model.

“The airline has pulled out of the pandemic strongly in Q3 with a return to profitability,” said Jazeera chairman Marwan Boodai. “We have exciting expansion plans ahead, which will further boost our contribution to the Kuwait economy and in particular the travel sector.”

Ibom Air, which already operates a pair of A220s on domestic routes, will use the additional aircraft to expand services across west Africa and beyond. In its November 16 announcement, the carrier did not specify which member of the 100- to 150-seat A220 family it is buying. Its current route network includes the cities of Uyo, Abuja, Calabar, Enugu, Lagos, and Port Harcourt.

"We at Ibom Air are delighted with the steep growth we have achieved in just over two and a half years since we commenced operations, a growth mainly achieved by the massive embrace of our product and brand by the Nigerian domestic flying public," said Ibom CEO Mfon Udom. "The addition of the A220 to our fleet will support our growth strategy and boost operational efficiency. It will also offer our passengers more space and enhanced cabin experience, as a value add for choosing us."