Qantas Airways? new low-cost carrier, Jetstar, has signed a contract with Airbus for 20 A320s and taken options on a further 40. Together with three leased A320s, Jetstar will operate an all-Airbus fleet of 23 Aircraft by mid 2005.
Melbourne-based Jetstar will use its A320s on services within Australia commencing in July 2004, with the first of the leased aircraft. Deliveries of the purchased A320s will begin in October 2004.
Jetstar?s Airbus A320s will each seat 177 passengers in a high comfort all-economy layout, with the most spacious cabin of any low-cost carrier in Australia ? they will also have the most individual space for carry-on baggage. The aircraft will be powered by International Aero Engines V2500 engines.
"As you might expect, economics played a big role in our choice of the Airbus A320 Family for Jetstar," says Qantas Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Geoff Dixon, "but we also liked the competitive edge that its modern design and more comfortable cabin will give us in the low-cost arena."
"Competition does not stop just because you have entered the low-cost sector by offering attractive prices," says Jetstar Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce, "and the Airbus A320, with its 1 to 1 1/2 inch wider seats and more spacious cabin lends itself better to providing value that our customers will appreciate as well as fast turnarounds, will help us achieve our goals."
"Qantas enjoys a reputation as a commercially competitive carrier, as well as for technical excellence, so its choice of the Airbus A320 for low-cost operations is a further mark of confidence in our growing presence in this field," says President and Chief Executive Officer Noël Forgeard.
Airbus' A320 Family features the most modern design, the widest and most comfortable cabin, and the highest degree of operational commonality of any single-aisle aircraft. It also has great economics, through lower fuel burn and maintenance costs, transcontinental range, superior short field performance and a proven worth as an excellent financial investment. The A320 is a firm favourite with passengers, airlines and the investment community alike, consistently coming top in independent surveys, financial and operator polls.
Widely accepted as the industry standard, the best?selling Airbus A320 Family comprises - the A318, A319, A320 and A321. All share the same airframe ? only the fuselage lengths differ ? plus the same cockpits, systems and engines, delivering unmatched commonality and savings.
Firm orders for the best-selling A320 family now stand at almost 3,100, some 2,100 of which have been delivered, with some 140 customers and operators worldwide.
Jetstar?s order is a further boost to Airbus? increasingly strong presence in the Pacific region, where Qantas is already a major customer for the market-leading A330 and the 21st Century flagship A380.
Airbus is an EADS joint Company with BAE Systems.