Kuwait-based lessor Aviation Lease and Finance Company (ALAFCO) has finalized an order for 50 A320neo-family aircraft and has taken options on 30 more, to be finalized by year-end.
The firm contract signed on November 14 at Dubai Airshow 2011 increases by 20 to 50 aircraft an initial memorandum of understanding which ALAFCO signed at the Paris Airshow in June for 30 A320neos, all of which are now confirmed.
ALAFCO has already ordered a total of 26 A320s, of which 25 have been delivered to date.
“The A320neo is the market’s favourite single-aisle aircraft family,” says Ahmed Al Zabin, ALAFCO’s chairman. “The significant fuel burn savings it offers, combined with the operational reliability and cost effectiveness of the A320 Family, make it an absolute ‘must have’ in our portfolio to meet the demand and the requirements of our customers”.
“Higher fuel prices means airlines require fuel efficient aircraft and with the A320neo offering a 15 per cent fuel burn reduction, it is the ideal investment. The A320neo reduces operating costs whilst enabling airlines to offer the best cabin comfort levels,” says John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer customers.
Over 8,100 Airbus A320-family aircraft have already been ordered and more than 4,800 delivered to more than 340 customers and operators worldwide. The A320neo has over 95 per cent airframe commonality with the existing A320 family, which Airbus says makes it it an easy fit into existing fleets while offering up to 500 nautical miles (950 kilometers) more range or two tonnes more payload at a given range.
The Airbus A320neo is a new engine option for the A320 family entering into service from 2015 and incorporates latest-generation engines and large “Sharklet” wing tip devices, which together will deliver 15 per cent in fuel savings compared with existing A320s. According to the manufacturer, this reduction in fuel burn is equivalent annually to 1.4 million litres of fuel – the consumption of 1,000 mid size cars.
According to Airbus, this saves 3,600 metric tonnes of C02 per aircraft per year, the amount absorbed by 240,000 mature trees. The A320neo’s emissions of oxides of nitrogen are 50 per cent below ICAO CAEP/6 standards and the aircraft also has considerably a smaller noise footprint than the CAEP/6 requirement.