Republic Airways Holdings, Inc., the parent company of Denver-based Frontier Airlines, has confirmed a previously announced (at the Paris Air Show in June) Memorandum of Understanding for 60 A320 New Engine Option (A320neo) aircraft plus 20 A319neo aircraft. Frontier currently operates a fleet of 59 A320 Family aircraft.
Republic has selected CFM International’s LEAP-X engines for all 80 of their A320neo and A319neo aircraft. The aircraft will also feature large wingtip devices known as Sharklets. Together, the Sharklets and LEAP-X engines will result in a 15 percent fuel burn reduction, corresponding to an annual carbon dioxide reduction of 3,600 metric tons per aircraft.
“This order is a confirmation of our confidence that Airbus and the A320neo aircraft will be significant contributors to the future growth of Frontier Airlines,” said Bryan Bedford, chairman, president and CEO of Republic Airways. “We see high fuel prices continuing, and these state-of-the-art, fuel-efficient aircraft will be a major factor in Frontier maintaining its position as an industry cost leader. They will allow Frontier to continue to offer travellers low fares despite persistently high fuel prices.”
“The A320neo is the single-aisle aircraft for our industry’s future, and with this order, Republic has demonstrated its position as a forward-thinking organization that puts its passengers first,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer. “Frontier joins a growing list of U.S. airlines that will soon experience the tangible benefits of the A320neo.”
The A320neo is the latest of many product upgrades as Airbus continues to invest around 350 million US dollars a year in the A320 Family to maintain its position as the most advanced and fuel-efficient single-aisle aircraft family. These new A319, A320 and A321 models were announced in December 2010 and feature new engines (the PurePower PW1100G from Pratt and Whitney or the LEAP-X from CFM) and Sharklets.
There are currently a total of 22 customers with 1,245 firm orders and commitments for the A320neo Family.
Over 8,100 A320 Family aircraft have already been ordered and more than 4,800 delivered to more than 340 customers and operators worldwide reaffirming its position as the world’s best-selling single-aisle aircraft family. The A320neo has over 95 percent airframe commonality with the current A320, making it an easy fit into existing fleets while offering up to 500 nautical miles (950 kilometres) more range or two tonnes more payload at a given range.