South Korean start-up KAIR Airlines has placed a firm order for eight Airbus A320ceos. The new low-cost carrier is based in Cheongju and will operate international services throughout North East Asia.
“We see enormous potential for the development of a low-cost model linking central South Korea with destinations in China, Taiwan and Japan”, said Byung Ho Kang, KAIR Airlines Representative Director and Chairman. “KAIR Airlines will focus on point-to-point services at low fares while offering passengers a modern and fun product offering. Brand new A320 aircraft will be perfect for our business model and customers, combining the lowest operating costs with the widest cabin in the single aisle segment.”
John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers, said: “We have been impressed by the business model developed by KAIR Airlines. We are confident that the efficiencies offered by the A320 will contribute to a successful launch by KAIR Airlines, bringing more choice for passengers flying in the North East Asian region. The selection of the A320 by KAIR Airlines underscores once again the position of the Airbus single aisle product line as the preferred choice for low cost airlines in Asia.”
Saudi Arabia’s leading low-cost carrier Flynas has signed an agreement with Airbus for 60 A320neo Family aircraft. In addition, it has converted 20 previously ordered A320ceos into A320neos, bringing its total firm order to 80 jets. Deliveries are due to start in 2018, and will run through to 2026.
Ayed Al Jeaid, Chairman, NAS Holding Group commented: “Flynas has come a long way to establish itself as a highly-reputed airline in Saudi Arabia. With the introduction of new aircraft technology, we are confident of our ability to provide the best services to our customers. We are also looking forward to being the first airline in the Kingdom to be successfully listed on the Saudi Stock Exchange, which will offer equity ownership to the public.”
Bander Al Mohanna, Chief Executive Officer, NAS Holdings Group, added: “We have operated exceptionally well with our existing A320 fleet, which has allowed us to maintain high performance standards in operations and passenger experience. We have an ambitious growth vision and this new A320neo order will further support out plans to be a leading low-cost carrier with the most advanced and efficient technology, enabling us to strengthen our offerings within and outside of Saudi Arabia.”
New Caledonia-based carrier Aircalin has signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus for two A320neo and two A330-900neo aircraft.
The deal, which is valued at $790m at current list prices, was finalised and signed during a ceremony held in the capital Noumea on November 29. The airline currently operates an all Airbus fleet of four jets, consisting two A320ceos and a pair of A330-200s. It is yet to make an engine choice for its new A320neos, while cabin configurations for both types will be made later.
Didier Tappero, the airline’s CEO commented: “As part of our plan to boost tourism to New Caledonia, we have made a strategic decision to renew our entire fleet with the A320neo and A330neo to help grow routes and connect New Caledonia to the region. The NEO aircraft with its state-of-the-art technology will burn less fuel, lower our operational costs and offer our passengers the highest standards in cabin comforts.
Aircalin will deploy the A320neo on its existing regional routes to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, while the A330neo will boost services to Japan for onward connections as well as possibly being used to open up new destinations such as to China.
Low-cost carrier Air Arabia has converted five options for Airbus A320s into firm orders. Delivery of the additional jets, which have a book value of $485m, will begin in the second quarter of 2017.
“Air Arabia’s fleet innovation sits at the heart of the airline’s operational efficiency” said Adel Al Ali, Group CEO of Air Arabia. “Today, we operate one of the youngest fleets in the world and this approach will continue to drive our fleet growth strategy for the future. Our customers can expect the same cabin comfort and spacious seat configuration with the five [new] aircraft joining the fleet.”
Air Arabia currently has a fleet of 46 A320s and has been rewarded with the A320 Family Operational Excellence Award by Airbus for achieving the highest level of utilisation for the type in the world with 99.8% operational reliability. In 2010, the carrier set a new world record achieving 30,000 flight hours in just six years with one of its CFM56-5B-powered A320 aircraft.
Kansai-based Peach Aviation has signed a firm order for ten Airbus A320neos and three A320ceos in a deal valued at $1.37bn.
The newly ordered jets will join the carrier’s existing fleet of 18 A320ceos, with a further two examples on order. The acquisition of the neo means the low-cost carrier becomes the first airline in Japan to purchase the latest member of the popular A320 Family.
Shinichi Inoue, Managing Director and CEO, Peach Aviation, said: “Our A320 fleet is growing as our route network expands, not only in the domestic market but also to various Asian cities. By introducing the A320neo we will enhance even further our profitability while continuing to offer our passengers greater comfort with 18in (46cm) wide seats. We also believe the type will strengthen our position in the very competitive Japanese aviation market.”
Peach says it expects the first current-generation A320 from the order to be delivered during its 2018 fiscal year (ending March 2019), followed by the initial A320neo in summer 2019. The latter will be used to “update” existing aircraft as well as helping with the carrier’s business expansion plans.
Las Vegas-based budget carrier Allegiant Travel Company has signed a firm purchase contract for 12 Airbus A320ceos. The deal is the first time Allegiant has purchased new aircraft direct from a manufacturer.
“Allegiant offers travellers convenient, affordable nonstop service enabling them to more easily enjoy their favourite vacation destinations,” said Maury Gallagher, Chairman and CEO of Allegiant Travel Company. “As we continue to transition to an all-Airbus fleet, this purchase will allow us to accelerate that process, reduce complexity in our fleet and provide our passengers with an ever-improving experience.”
The new jets, which will be powered by CFM International’s CFM56 engines, will join Allegiant’s current fleet of 15 A319ceos and 16 A320ceos.
“We love it when we hear the Allegiant team say that ‘Airbus is our future’, because that demonstrates they are hitting their bottom-line goals while also satisfying their passengers, and they know it’s because of the Airbus A320 Family,” said John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer – Customers. “The A320 offers wider and more comfortable 18” seats, wider aisles for faster boarding and more on-board storage space for today’s larger carry-ons. Low-cost carriers come back to the A320 Family again and again because it offers optimum performance from all perspectives. When an airline grows its A320 fleet, it’s making a sound investment in its financial future.”