Indigo Partners Huge Order For 50 Airbus A321XLR

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.

Airbus Indigo Partners
Airbus and Indigo Partners have signed a memorandum of understanding for 50 Airbus A321XLRs at the Paris Air Show. Photo: Simple Flying

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.

WOW Air
The four airlines of Indigo Partners. Photo: 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.

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.

The range of the new Airbus A321XLR. Photo: Airbus

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.

What do you think of this news? Let us know in the comments.

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Nigel

The XLR is selling like hot cakes! And why not? Look at the extra markets it opens up, for minimal extra investment/risk. And it’s based on a reliable, existing airframe, rather than some hot air NMA.

Nigel

Wizzair operate in Ryanair’s back yard, and Wizzair now evidently have plans to go long-haul with the XLR. It will be interesting to see if/how Ryanair reacts…

Nicholas Cummins

Very true. It’s possible it might prompt Ryanair is invest in a new type! One can imagine!