U.S. carrier Spirit Airlines has placed a firm order for 20 Airbus A321 aircraft and has opted to convert existing orders for 10 A320s to the larger A321.
All 30 of the aircraft will be current engine option (ceo) models. Airbus and Spirit Airlines announced the deal on June 20 at the Paris Air Show 2013.
Spirit’s 20 newly ordered A321s are in addition to 96 Airbus jets not yet delivered to Spirit Airlines under its existing orders and will be scheduled for delivery between 2015 and 2017.
The 10 previously ordered aircraft that Spirit has opted to re-specify as A321s will be scheduled for delivery in 2017 and 2018.
All 30 of Spirit’s new Airbus A321 jets will be outfitted with fuel-saving Sharklets.
Spirit’s A321ceos will accommodate increasing passenger numbers in the airline’s network in the U.S., Caribbean and Latin America. All of its A321ceo aircraft will seat 219 passengers in a single-class layout.
The new Spirit A321s will also be the first North America-based Airbus A320-family aircraft to feature the manufacturer’s Space-Flex cabin option.
This rear lavatory and galley combination optimizes use of the available space at the very back of the aircraft. The configuration also allows for the first lavatory in the single-aisle market to be accessible to people with reduced mobility.
“Spirit’s priority has always been to save its passengers money, while transporting them as comfortably as possible,” says John Leahy, Airbus’ chief operating officer, customers. “That is exactly what the A320 family allows the airline to achieve. These are eco-efficient machines with wonderful comfort.”
“We are pleased to expand our partnership with Airbus and excited about the growth opportunities and additional cities we will be able to liberate from high fares with the addition of these aircraft,” says Ben Baldanza, chief executive officer of Spirit Airlines.
Including its newly announced order, Spirit’s firm A320-family orders now include seven A319s, 98 A320s (including 45 Airbus A320neo jets) and 30 A321s. The airline currently operates a fleet of some 50 A320-family aircraft.
More than 9,500 Airbus A320-family aircraft have been ordered and more 5,600 delivered to more than 380 customers and operators.