UK holiday carrier Jet2 is the newest Airbus A321neo customer. The carrier announced an order for 36 of the planes, to be delivered from 2023 to 2028. The airline currently operates a fleet of 737NG and 757 aircraft.
This aircraft is, in our opinion, the most efficient and environmentally friendly aircraft in its class today – it will give our holiday customers a wonderfully comfortable and enjoyable experience as they travel with us for their well deserved Jet2holiday.– Philip Meeson, Jet2.com Executive Chairman
The A321neo order focuses on fleet renewal and expansion. Jet2’s fleet currently stands at 80ish planes, so even with the 24 options this deal cannot offer a one-to-one replacement. But it allows the carrier to begin the transition toward an Airbus fleet, another blow for Boeing and the 737 MAX as the future of its single-aisle program.
Jet2 will fit the cabin with 232 seats in a single-class layout. This is among the highest density configurations for the type, but not the absolute limit.
The on-board space for passengers should be similar to the 189-seat configuration of the company’s 737-800s, though the Airbus seats are typically a little wider.
The new A321neo fleet will also come with larger overhead bins to handle more of the carry-on bags of Jet2 holidaymakers.
Marking the transition
Airbus is also celebrating the addition of a new customer and conversion of a formerly all-Boeing operator to its family. Christian Scherer, Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Airbus International, calls attention to the Airbus fly-by-wire aircraft control system, perhaps a not-so-veiled dig at the 737 MAX and MCAS issues linked to two fatal crashes and the type’s global grounding that is still being resolved.
Traditionally having been operating non fly-by-wire aircraft, we note with great satisfaction that after having tested a couple of leased A321s and run a comprehensive evaluation, Jet2.com is forward looking and investing in modern and future proof Airbus fly-by-wire technology.– Christian Scherer
The new order, along with others like Delta’s 30 more announced last week, also likely help Airbus justify its push to increase build rate for the A320 family planes. The company aims for 45/month by the end of this year and targets 64/month by 2023 when these new deliveries would begin. Assuming suppliers can keep up.
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