LONDON — Germania Group announced a firm order for 25 Airbus A320neos Tuesday at the Farnborough Airshow, a deal worth $2.7 billion at list prices ($1.2-1.7 billion applying standard discounts off of list price).
The Berlin based low cost carrier (LCC) will take delivery of the airplanes beginning in 2020, and all of the ordered airplanes have an option for conversion to the larger A321neo variant.
“We are delighted to continue our successful collaboration with Airbus within the framework of our fleet renewal programme. The order of 25 A320neo fitted with the newest engines from Pratt & Whitney provides a solid basis for Germania’s future business development,” said Karsten Balke, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Germania.
Germania is already an Airbus A320ceo family operator, with its fleet including 8 A319s seating 150 passengers and 4 A321s seating 215 passengers both in a single class configuration.
The LCC carrier is ordering the neos to replace its leased fleet of 10 Boeing 737-700 (total fleet of 22 frames) and grow operations overall. “The order is designed to replace our leased fleet,” Balke said, “60% of our planes are owned by our group.”
The Germania Group also includes Germania Flug, a subsidiary in Switzerland (based at Zurich) with a fleet of 3 Airbus A319 and 1 Airbus A321 serving 16 destinations across Europe, the Middle East, and Northern Africa.
Germania, like many leisure focused LCCs in Europe, flies scheduled and charter leisure flights from bases across Germany including Berlin Schonefeld, Bremen, Dusseldorf, Erfurt, Hamburg and Munster. The carrier operates scheduled flights, mostly with less than daily frequency, to 42 destinations across Europe, the Middle East, and Northern Africa. It carried about 2.8 million passengers last year.
Interestingly, Germania is also the airline that provides the twice daily shuttle service between Toulouse, France and Hamburg’s Finkenwerder airport (Airbus’ two primary manufacturing facilities) carrying more than 400 passengers per day between the two facilities.
As Airbus CEO Fabrice Brégier jokingly noted during the press conference announcing the order, “Nobody can say they fly more Airbus passengers than you [Germania].”
Brégier also provided an update on the status of the A320neo program, which has run into initial issues before entry into service (EIS). “The neos currently in flight testing with the engine have received the upgraded engine.”
“We believe they are ready for delivery, and have fixed the majority of issues and completed the software upgrades… There are 25 aircraft waiting for engines which need to be retrofitted… I have no reason to believe we will not meet our targets.” Brégier said.
Balke also expressed confidence in Pratt & Whitney’s embattled power plant: “We are changing to Pratt & Whitney because we trust the technology and performance requirements. There are also maintenance savings, and we are convinced that we made the right decision to change from CFM to Pratt & Whitney.”
With its order, Germania becomes the latest in a string of airlines to switch or consolidate narrow body allegiance from Boeing to Airbus. It joins Arkia Israel, Qantas, Pegasus, now-defunct Transaero, and Viva Aerobes amongst airlines converted to all-Airbus next generation fleets.
Conversely, only United Airlines (who may yet order A320neo family aircraft), SilkAir, Monarch, and Air Canada have gone in the opposite direction from the Airbus A320 to exclusively the 737 MAX.