Airbus’ new A320neo transactions at Dubai underscored the family’s attractiveness for a full range of customers, as they involved one major airline in the Persian Gulf, two international aircraft leasing companies (one from the U.S., and the other located in Kuwait), as well as a U.S.-based ultra low-cost carrier.
“This represents yet another endorsement for the A320neo Family, which offers a win-win solution for leasing companies, airlines and passengers,” John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer - Customers, told international journalists at an air show wrap-up press briefing today. “While retaining a high degree of commonality with the A320, our A320neo provides longer range, lower seat mile costs, lower fuel burned and more efficiency. This explains why the A320neo Family has accumulated 1,420 firm orders and commitments since its launch, which occurred only last December.”
One of the major Dubai Airshow business announcements was Qatar Airways’ firm order for 50 A320neo aircraft, marking a step in the Doha-based airline’s decision to form the backbone of its future single-aisle fleet with Airbus’ A320 product line.
Another Middle East customer, Kuwait’s ALAFCO, signed a firm order for 50 A320neo Family aircraft and took options for 30 more, with these aircraft to complement the aviation lease and finance company’s existing A320 portfolio.
Completing the A320neo’s firm transaction activity in Dubai this week was the U.S.-based Aviation Capital Group’s purchase agreement for 30 jetliners, which will be made available for the aircraft leasing company’s global customer base.
Spirit Airlines of the U.S. signed a memorandum of understanding for 45 A320neo jetliners and 30 A320s, marking an additional market commitment in North America from an existing A320 operator. The new A320s to be acquired by Spirit will be equipped with Airbus’ Sharklets™ wingtip devices that cut down on aerodynamic drag for lower fuel consumption and reduced carbon emissions, which are optional on A320s and incorporated as standard fit on the A320neo.
Also included in the Dubai Airshow’s business volume was Qatar Airway’s firm contract for five additional A380s, along with three options. It doubles the airline’s A380 firm order total to 10, and raises overall firm bookings for Airbus’ 21st century flagship jetliner to 243 from 18 customers.
Completing the air show’s commercial activity was a commitment from Comlux for an Airbus ACJ321 – the first ever placed for this version in the A320 Family of corporate jetliners. Having previously ordered the ACJ318, ACJ319 and ACJ320, Comlux’ new A321 commitment makes the VIP charter services operator the world’s first with acquisition plans for all four members of Airbus’ corporate jet family.