PHOTO: Airbus.

MIAMI — British budget carrier easyJet announced today that it has reached an agreement with Airbus to convert 30 of its Airbus A320neo on order to A321neo aircraft with a 235 seat configuration, with initial deliveries expected in Summer 2018.

While the details of the negotiation were not disclosed, easyJet says it has negotiated a “very substantial discount” from the A321neo’s US$127 million list price.

These aircraft will increase the ability to add extra capacity in slot-restricted airports, with an increase in seats by 50% when compared to the A319, and a little over 26% when replacing an A320.

According to the airline, the extra capacity of the A321neo will result in an 8-9% cost-per-seat saving when compared to the A320neo.

“These new aircraft will help us deliver our strategy of securing and growing our number one positions at Europe’s leading airports, which are generally slot constrained, while reducing our cost per seat,” easyJet CEO Carolyn McCall said.

Back in 2013, easyJet placed an order for 100 A320neo and 35 A320ceo jetliners, further expanded by adding 36 extra A320neo to the order in November 2015.

easyJet operates Europe’s largest and the world’s fourth largest Airbus single aisle fleet.

easyJet’s total fleet as of 31 March 2017 comprised 266 aircraft, split between 156-seat Airbus A319s, 180-seat A320s and since May 2016, 186-seat A320s.  The 144 A319s are being progressively replaced by A320s, with the first A320neo rob be delivered in June this year, and from summer 2018, A321neos.