Air New Zealand has placed a firm order for three Airbus A321neo, 10 A320neo and one additional A320ceo single-aisle jets.
The Airbus A320neo-family order from Air New Zealand on June 2 follows an order the airline placed in 2009 for 14 Airbus A320s to replace its previous domestic mainline fleet of 15 leased Boeing 737-300s.
Its new order on June 2 marks the first time Air New Zealand has ordered any Airbus A321 version and also the Airbus A320neo family.
Air New Zealand will make its engine selection and decide upon its cabin configurations for the new aircraft at a later date, according to Airbus.
According to the manufacturer, Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon says the new order confirms the airline’s intention to stay with an Airbus single-aisle fleet for the foreseeable future.
“Operating one narrow body aircraft type will bring important efficiencies in training, maintenance and operating costs,” says Luxon. “The new Airbus neo will help ensure we continue to operate one of the world’s youngest jet fleets and will further drive fuel efficiency allowing us to minimize our carbon footprint.”
Also, on June 2, the manufacturer announced that Delta Air Lines has placed a follow-on order for 15 more Airbus A321 current-engine option (ceo) jets to add to 30 A321 which Delta ordered on September 4, 2013.
As with the other 30 A321s, the 15 additional aircraft will replace older single-aisle jets in the Delta Air Lines fleet, according to the carrier. Delta has not specified whether the aircraft to be replaced are Airbus or Boeing jets, or both: it operates substantial fleets of single-aisle aircraft from both manufacturers.
Many of Delta’s A321s will be delivered from Airbus’ new A320-family assembly line currently under construction in Mobile, Alabama.
Hiring is underway at the facility, and aircraft assembly will begin there next year, according to Airbus. By 2017, the Mobile facility is expected to produce four aircraft per month.
Delta has selected CFM International CFM56-5B engines to power the newly ordered A321ceo jets, deliveries of which are scheduled to begin in 2018.
Atlanta-based Delta already operates a large fleet of Airbus aircraft, including 126 A320-family aircraft and 32 Airbus A330 widebodies (11 of them A330-200s and the other 21 being A330-300s).
Its June 2 order brings Delta’s order backlog with Airbus to 45 Airbus A321 single-aisle jets and 10 Airbus A330-300 widebodies.
The Airbus A320 family has won firm orders for more than 10,200 aircraft and Airbus has delivered more than 6,000 to date.