LONDON – Airbus has announced today that Uzbekistan Airways has ordered 13 A320neo Family aircraft as the carrier looks to continue to modernise and expand its fleet amid the growing demand for travel.
It is understood that there will be a decision made on the engine options at a later stage, but the 12 new aircraft will join the airlines’ fleet of 17 Airbus A320 family aircraft.
New Aircraft Bound For Uzbekistan Express?
There has been no official confirmation from the airline about where the new A320neo aircraft will be deployed, however, it is likely that they will be used to replace the carriers now ageing 11 A320-200.
These aircraft now have an average age of 11.3 years, and with there being greater demand than ever before for more efficient and cost-effective travel, the A320neo is the logical replacement option.
Ilhom Makhkamov, Chairman of the Board of Uzbekistan Airways commented on the announcement today saying: “The contract signed with Airbus is a new step in our fleet modernization strategy aimed at offering our passengers the most modern and comfortable aircraft.”
“At the same time, these new fuel-efficient A320neo Family aircraft will help us to further expand and strengthen our footprint in Central Asia as well as develop our domestic and international network”,
The carrier has a fleet of 37 aircraft, three of which are currently parked, and utilises 5 Airbus A321neo aircraft that it has on a lease, all of which were delivered last year to the carrier.
Operating flights internationally, the airline utilises the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Boeing 757 and 767 for its long haul flights.
The A321neo and the new order for the A320neo as the airline said, will allow them to further look to expand into different route markets and allow greater connectivity for their customers.
Asian Market Growth
Asia is one of the fastest and highest-growing aviation markets in the globe, with Boeing forecasting it to be one of the largest markets to grow over the next 5 years, something which both Boeing and Airbus will be keen to continue to see themselves take market share of.
Christian Scherer, Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International at Airbus said: “Our cooperation with Uzbekistan Airways dates back to 1993. It is an honour that the Airbus A320neo Family has now again been chosen.”
“We see good potential for growth in the Central Asia region in the years to come. The modern and efficient A320neo will enable Uzbekistan Airways to benefit from this growth and play a leading role in this region”,
With a fast-growing market, it is possible we might perhaps see Airbus look to work with Uzbekistan Airways on replacing their now very old 757s (23.5 years avg) with the A330neo aircraft.
The aircraft has seen fairly good success in the replacement of the A330 aircraft across Europe and the US, and with the carrier already operating the A320neo family aircraft for its domestic services, it would allow the carrier easier expansion at a lowered cost.
If this is the decision made by the airline however, we may not see it for many more years, the carrier 767 fleet only has an average age of 16.3 years and has often been described as a hard plane to replace.
This is due to the fact nothing currently matches its size and seat options, which there is the 787-7/8 Dreamliner and the A330neo/A350 – all of these aircraft have larger wingspans than the 767 which make them at times unsuitable replacements due to possible airport limitations.