LONDON – Christmas has seen the delivery of two new Airbus A321neo aircraft for Australian low-cost carrier Jetstar.
VH-OFP landed in Perth at 10:58 PM and VH-OFQ landed at 11:08 PM respectively according to Flightradar24, with both then continuing to Melbourne afterwards for final delivery.
The two airliners are the ‘LR’ version or the Long Range of the Airbus A320 NEO family, which carries an extra duel in three additional centre tanks, which enables the aircraft to fly up to 4,000 nautical miles with 206 passengers.
In fact, the Australian low-cost carrier took delivery of its first A321NEO the VH-OFE back in July, and its second machine in VH-OFL in December.
Jetstar will induct a total of eight A321LRs from Airbus by May 2023. By mid-2024, the airline is expected to take 18 machines.
In addition, the airline is also expecting a further 20 A321XLR, the extra long-range variant of the A320 family, which is slated for delivery between the years 2024 and 2029 respectively.
Former Jetstar CEO Gareth Evans, announced earlier this year: “Our fleet of new NEOs will lift the bar on passenger comfort, and we’ve fine-tuned the cabin configuration to set a new standard of inflight experience for low-fare travel in Australia.”
“This means wider seats for customers, larger overhead lockers, in-seat USB charging, and in-flight digital streaming technology, which is an Australian first for a low-fares airline.”
“The A321LR burns significantly less fuel than previous-generation aircraft, and advanced weather detection technology will enable our pilots to plot smoother and more fuel-efficient flight paths.”
“That translates to a saving of one point two million kilograms of fuel annually — a reduction of almost 4,000 tonnes of emissions or the equivalent of removing 1,500 cars from the road each year.”
Jetstar’s welcoming of the A321neo family comes after Qantas, the Australian flag carrier and its parent company, confirmed a separate order for 20 A321XLRs and 20 A220-300s to replace the ageing Boeing 717 and 737 fleets.
Jetstar’s order logbook includes purchase options for up to 94 aircraft through 2034. The Australian low-cost carrier is poised to become one of the nation’s most efficient airlines.
Alan Joyce Qantas’ chief executive said, “The A320s and A220s will become the backbone of our domestic fleet for the next 20 years, helping to keep this country moving. Their range and economics will make new direct routes possible, including serving regional cities better.”
It is not a surprise for Jetstar to order the newer variants of the A320 jets, as it is already operating the A320ceo for many years. Though for Qantas, it is rather unexpected, as a Boeing 737 veteran, it opted for the A321neos and the A220 jets as a successor.
The two A321LRs are a true saviour for Jetstar as many airlines in Australia are struggling to cope with the rise in pent-up demand during the Christmas and the New Years holiday.