Latin America’s LAN Airlines has placed a firm order at the 49th Le Bourget Airshow for 20 Airbus A320neos as part of its expansion strategy and fleet-renewal program.
With its 2011 Paris Airshow order, LAN Airlines becomes the first in the region to sign a firm order for the A320neo.
While Airbus says the airline will announce its engine selection at a later date, the computer graphic image provided by Airbus of a LAN Airlines Airbus A320neo shows the aircraft with Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1100G engines.
The new purchase agreement, which brings LAN’s total Airbus orders to more than 170 aircraft, comes six months after LAN ordered 50 A320-family aircraft in December. LAN Airlines is slated to start operating A320s with Sharklet wing-tip devices as of 2013.
“This order solidifies our continuous commitment to provide customers with the most modern technology in aviation thanks to the A320neo’s dramatic improvements to fuel efficiency and range capabilities,” says Ignacio Cueto, LAN Airlines’ chief operating officer. “Adding the A320neo to our fleet is a huge step in ensuring LAN’s leadership in the region.”
Airbus says the Airbus fleet operating in Latin America has doubled in the last five years. With more 550 aircraft sold and a record backlog of more than 250 aircraft to be delivered to its Latin American customers, today nearly 400 Airbus aircraft are flying with Latin American airlines. This represents more than 60 per cent of the fleet delivered in the region, according to the manufacturer.
LAN Airlines’ order for 20 A320neos takes total firm orders and MOU commitments (not including options) for A320neo-family jets to 757 aircraft since Airbus launched the A320neo-family program in December 2010.