LONDON – Yesterday, easyJet announced the firming up of an order for 56 Airbus A320 Family aircraft and converted around 18 orders to the A321neo.
The deal will see the 56 A320neos offer a delivery date between 2026-2029, with the 18 A321neo conversion delivery schedule placed between 2024-2027.
It is understood that these aircraft will replace older aircraft that are due to leave the fleet within that timeframe.
Lundgren: Fleet Refresh On The Way…
Commenting on this announcement was EasyJet’s CEO Johan Lundgren:
“The proposed purchase firms up our orders with Airbus between FY 2026 and FY 2029, continuing the company’s fleet refresh, as the older A319s and A320s leave the airline and new A320 and A321 neo aircraft enter, providing benefits to easyJet through up gauging, cost efficiencies and sustainability enhancements. We believe this will support positive returns for the business and the delivery of our strategic objectives.”
This fleet refresh is also down to the fact that the older aircraft becoming economically unviable as the years progress. This would typically be down to higher maintenance costs on the older fleet.
“The new aircraft will be used to replace older aircraft as they reach the end of their useful life. These aircraft will become economically unviable for our high-intensity low-cost operation and will need replacement if we are to maintain the current scale of our business”, the filing said.
Original 2013 Agreement will be Utilized…
In the filing, easyJet went into detail about how this original agreement from 2013 will be utilized to offer flexibility for the carrier:
“The new aircraft will be purchased under the 2013 Agreement, meaning the Company will continue to benefit from the highly competitive pricing and the flexibility rights in this agreement.”
“These aircraft are priced very substantially below the Airbus list price, and benefit from attractive price escalation protection.”
“In addition, the Airbus Amendment continues to offer flexibility with respect to delivery dates and the ability to convert A320neo aircraft to A321neo aircraft.”
It does seem that with this in mind, easyJet maybe after more A321neos down the line, and this could fall in line with forecasts for industry growth in the second half of this decade.
Either way, the firming up of this order, as easyJet states, confirms a delivery program that falls under the carrier’s strategic objectives:
“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.”
It remains clear that easyJet is most definitely thinking about the future in this respect. Critics are suggesting this is a PR move made off the back of the airline being in the news a lot for flight cancellations due to staff shortages.
Even so, that can be downplayed a lot as this order reflects the future and not the current period that the airline is going through at present.
Looking ahead, it will be interesting to see whether easyJet chooses to convert more of its A320neo orders into the A321neo, especially as demand continues to rise through the years.