DALLAS – As easyJet (U2) attempts to stabilize its operation this summer, the carrier has announced that it will expand its firm order book by 56 Airbus aircraft.
The deal announced on Tuesday 21, June will see 56 A320neos delivered between 2026 and 2029. It also revealed that it would convert 18 of its A320neo orders to the larger A321neo.
easyJet will use deliveries to replace its older A319 and A320 aircraft. The A320neos have 186 seats, while the A321neo can accommodate 235 passengers.
Part of 2013 Order
List prices value the order at around £5.4bn (US$6.5bn). However, U2 said it would pay significantly less than that as part of an agreement reached in 2013.
“Given constraints on Airbus delivery slots, should the Proposed Purchase not proceed, easyJet would not have a secure supply of aircraft between FY 2026 and FY 2029 and would therefore need to either decrease its fleet size or source alternative new generation aircraft with higher ownership costs,” a spokesperson for the airline said.
U2 Chief Executive Johan Lundgren said the order would give the airline ‘better cost efficiencies and sustainability enhancements.’
“If instead we sourced aircraft from the secondary market, this may expose us to older technology. EasyJet would face greater exposure to fluctuating fuel prices and carbon-related taxes and would be competitively disadvantaged relative to the more modern fleets operated by its competitors.”
Indeed, the order forms part of the carrier’s plan to show its muscle in the European aviation industry after a recent takeover bid by rival Wizz Air (W6).
Last September, easyJet raised £1.2bn (US$1.5bn) in new capital. It also commenced a new growth plan that would see it expanding its route map, increasing its number of focus cities, and building its operation in its core markets.
Recently the airline was able to secure additional slots in Lisbon (LIS). It will add three Airbus aircraft to the base, allowing U2 to become the second-largest carrier in the Portuguese capital.
Featured Image: easyJet debuted its A321neo at the 2018 Farnborough Air Show. Photo: Airbus