Chile’s LAN Airlines has signed a firm order for 50 Airbus A320-family aircraft, in the single-largest airline order for Airbus in Latin America.
Initially announced as a memorandum of understanding at the Farnborough International Airshow in July, the airline’s requirement for incremental A320-family aircraft is part of LAN’s growth strategy for Latin America, serving as new and replacement aircraft for both existing and new routes. LAN Airlines has also selected Sharklets for the A320, which LAN will start receiving in 2013.
Sharklets are large wing-tip devices that will enhance the eco-efficiency and payload-range performance of the A320 family, according to Airbus. They are expected to reduce each aircraft’s fuel burn by up to 3.5 per cent over longer sectors, corresponding to an annual reduction of up to 700 metric tons of carbon dioxide per aircraft. This latest development is part of a larger, continuous-improvement program for the A320 family.
LAN Airlines’ order also includes 10 A321s, a new aircraft type for the airline.
“Since 2008, our short haul fleet has been entirely composed by Airbus A320-family aircraft,” says Ignacio Cueto, LAN Airlines’ chief operating officer. “Through this agreement, we confirm LAN’s commitment to the development of commercial aviation in Latin America by carefully selecting our aircraft based on its ability to effectively and efficiently serve our short- and long-haul flight needs.”
As of today, LAN’s total Airbus orders exceed 150 aircraft and the LAN Group’s airlines have more than 60 Airbus jets in passenger operations today throughout Chile, Argentina, Peru and Ecuador.
Airbus has sold more than 550 aircraft in Latin America and has a record backlog of more than 250 aircraft to be delivered to its Latin American customers. Today more than 300 Airbus aircraft are flying with 22 Latin American airline customers and operators, representing more than 40 per cent of the fleet in service in the region.
The manufacturer has sold some 6, 800 A320-family aircraft (A318, A319, A320 and A321) and has delivered more than 4,400 A320-family aircraft to some 310 customers and operators worldwide. Airbus says that, uniquely for a single-aisle jet, the A320 family offers a containerized cargo system, which is compatible with the worldwide standard widebody belly-cargo system.
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