easyJet announced on May 16 that it has reached an agreement with Airbus to convert 30 current A320neo orders to A321neo aircraft with a 235 seat configuration, with the first delivery expected in Summer 2018. This is part of the existing easyJet Airbus framework agreement signed in 2013.
The A321neo aircraft will enable easyJet to continue to deliver growth in slot constrained airports with an increase in seats per flight of around 30% compared to an A320 and 50% when replacing an A319.
In addition, the A321neos will secure substantial unit cost savings which are estimated to be around 8% to 9% better than an A320neo and around 21% better than an A319. Much of this is driven by reduced fuel consumption per flight which will also deliver an improvement in CO2 per passenger kilometre of 16% when moving from an A320 to an A321neo and 21% when an A319 is replaced by an A321neo.
Like easyJet’s A320neo aircraft, the A321neos will be powered by CFM’s LEAP-1A engine which as well as being more fuel efficient are also achieving a noise footprint reduction of around 50% compared to existing aircraft types. The A321neos will comply with ICAO Chapter 14 regulations and their NOx emissions will also meet the ICAO CAEP/8 regulations.
easyJet’s total fleet as at 31 March 2017 comprised 266 aircraft, split between 156-seat Airbus A319s, 180-seat A320s and since May 2016, 186-seat A320s. The 144 A319s are being progressively replaced by A320s, with the first A320neo delivering in June this year and, from summer 2018, A321neos.