Avianca took delivery of the first of three Airbus A320s it has leased from CIT International, at a delivery ceremony in Toulouse, France. This paves the way to the subsequent delivery of 47 A320 Family aircraft (32 A320s and 15 A319s) the Colombian flag-carrier has directly ordered from Airbus as part of a complete fleet renewal programme. Avianca also has ten A330-200s on order.
The A320s will help Avianca expand its network and open up new routes in the region. The aircraft will be able to accommodate 150 passengers in a spacious two-class configuration, offering passengers even more comfort with the increased personal space of the new state of the art A320 cabin. They will be powered by CFM International CFM56-5B engines.
"We look forward to introducing the leading aircraft in fuel efficiency and low operational costs in our fleet", said Fabio Villegas, President of Avianca. "The A320 is the cornerstone of our long-term strategy of having one of the most modern and fuel efficient fleets in Latin America, whilst also offering the highest standards in passenger comfort".
John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers added: "Avianca is the second oldest commercial airline in the world and we are honored to welcome such a prestigious airline amongst our big family of Airbus A320 operators. Avianca has chosen the world's best selling aircraft combining lowest operating costs with the most advanced technology, environmental friendliness, and comfort, allowing the airline to expand successfully."
The new cabin delivered to Avianca features the most modern design and technological innovations, derived from the A380. New smooth lines not only create an attractive ambience but also give more space at shoulder level. Increased Overhead Stowage offers 15 per cent more useable volume. The state of the art design gives a measurable noise reduction, while also decreasing the weight of the aircraft and thus making it more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly.
The A320 Family, which includes the A318, A319, A320 and A321, is recognized as the benchmark single-aisle aircraft family. Each aircraft features fly by wire controls and all share a unique cockpit and operational commonality across the range. Over 5,800 Airbus A320 Family aircraft have been sold and over 3,300 delivered to more than 200 customers and operators worldwide, making it the worlds best selling commercial jetliner ever. With proven reliability and extended servicing periods, the A320 Family has the lowest operating costs of any single aisle aircraft. Uniquely, the A320 Family offers a containerized cargo system, which is compatible with the world wide standard wide-body system.
Airbus is an EADS company.