Indigo Partners, the owners of Wizz Air, Frontier, JetSmart and Volaris, has made a huge order for 50 Airbus A321XLRs at the Paris Air Show.
This marks the biggest order for the type so far at this years Paris Air Show, with Airbus’ new ultra-long-range single-aisle aircraft quickly becoming the top favorite for airlines in Paris. This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information is revealed at the Airbus press conference.
What are the details?
At a dramatic Airbus press conference at the Paris Air Show, Indigo Partners took to the stage with three CEOs of low-cost-carriers, to announce a massive fleet expansion. In attendance were the CEOs of Wizz Air (Hungary), Frontier (USA) and JetSmart (Chile) as well as executives of Airbus.
Indigo Partners has placed a memorandum of understanding order for 50 Airbus A321XLR aircraft, to be spread among the three airlines. Specifically, they have placed a MOU for 32 A321XLRs, and conversion of 18 existing A320 orders.
With this order, Indigo Partners now has 295 Airbus planes active in their fleet and 636 Airbus aircraft on order.
What will they use the aircraft for?
They will split up the aircraft into their fleets in the following way:
- 20 to Wizz Air
- 18 to Frontier
- 12 to JetSmart
- So far none are Volaris, but this may change in the future.
— Airbus PRESS (@AirbusPRESS) June 19, 2019
It is rumored that Frontier plans to use their aircraft to fly to Hawaii from Eastern cities, which would be troubling news for Hawaiian (they are still battling Southwest’s recent entry into the island market place). Additionally, there is a possibility they will fly to Europe.
“We’ll fly em where we can make the most money” – Barry Biffle, CEO of Frontier
JetSmart will use the aircraft to launch routes deep into South America. At this stage, Wizz Air has not discussed how they would use their 20 A321XLRs, despite having the most assigned to their fleet.
Typically, Indigo Partners operates a short-haul fleet with an ultra-low-cost business model. Passengers are expected to pay for everything, from food and baggage to pillows and more. If they start to use these Airbus A321XLR aircraft for longer distances, questions might be raised around the need to provide more comforts for their customers. For example, Norwegian offers seat-back entertainment screens on their international long-haul flights.
As Indigo Partners will be converting some of their existing A320 orders into A321XLRs, it is likely that they will be one of the first airlines in the market to offer routes with this type.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.
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