EasyJet to upgrade fleet with 56 new aircraft

EasyJet has agreed to acquire 56 new generation Airbus aircraft as part of a fleet and capacity upgrade.

The purchase price would be around $6.5 billion based on 2018 list prices, but the overall cost the aircraft will be “very substantially lower” due to price concessions secured in a 2013 agreement with Airbus.

The A320neos are due for delivery between 2026 and 2029 with the carrier using purchase options and rights under an existing contract with the European manufacturer.

The budget carrier also plans to convert 18 A320neos to A321neos for delivery over three years from 2024.

The airline’s fleet refresh will see 156-seat A319s and older 180- and 186-seat A320s leave the fleet and new 186-seat A320s and 235-seat A321neos aircraft enter service.

The new models will cut fuel costs by between 15% and 25% while increasing the average seat count per aircraft of the easyJet fleet. 

The purchase will be financed over a number of years through a combination of easyJet’s internal resources, cash flow, sale and leaseback transactions and debt.

Chief executive Johan Lundgren said: “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 A321neo 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.”

The deal was revealed 24 hours after the airline announced peak summer flight cancellations amid a staffing crisis.

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