Leeds-based Jet2 has agreed to purchase a further 15 Airbus A321neo planes, with delivery to occur between 2026 and 2029. This order comes on top of a late August order for 36 A321neos.
Neither Jet2 nor Airbus have made much noise about the fresh order, but an October 5 filing with the London Stock Exchange has confirmed the news.
“The Board is pleased to announce that the Company has entered into an agreement with Airbus to purchase a further 15 new firm ordered Airbus A321neo aircraft. This order is in addition to the 36 firm aircraft orders, together with the flexibility to extend up to 60 aircraft, that the Company announced on 31 August 2021,” the filing states.
Jet2 says the terms of the most recent deal are similar to the August purchase terms. The list price of the 15 aircraft is roughly US$2 billion, but Jet2 acknowledges they negotiated a discounted price.
“The Company will retain flexibility in determining the most favorable method of financing the aircraft, which will be through a combination of internal resources and debt,” the filing adds.
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Jet2 defects from Boeing
The Jet2 brand may not be widely known outside the UK and Europe, but the low-cost carrier is one of the UK’s biggest scheduled carriers. Jet2 flies to 81 destinations in 22 countries. To date, the airline has stuck with Boeing. According to airline database ch-aviation, 90 of Jet2’s 91 planes are Boeings.
The sole Airbus, an A321-200, landed at Jet2 in late February. Jet2 used it as a test plane – in a kind of try-before-you-buy arrangement. Being Boeing stalwarts, Airbus was delighted when Jet2 defected and became a brand new customer a few months later. Aside from the 51 firm orders, Jet2 has options to take another 24 A321s.
“We very much welcome Jet2.com’s decision,” said Christian Scherer, Chief Commercial Officer at Airbus, in August. “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.’
With that lukewarm Boeing testimonial out of the way, Scherer added for good measure; “This is a testimony to Jet2.com’s vision of efficiency, quality, performance, and environmentally friendly flying,”
Airbus A321neos now a part of Jet2’s growth plans
Jet2’s history goes back nearly 40 years, when the airline flew as Channel Express. In 2001, the airline began operating passenger services. In 2002, the airline rebranded as Jet2 and re-orientated as a low-cost airline.
Since then, the airline’s enjoyed a steady upwards trajectory until 2020, when it temporarily suspended most flying owing to the worldwide travel downturn. In mid-2021, the airline rebooted and began flying again as the UK and Europe reopened for business.
The August Airbus order came hot on the heels of that reboot and Jet2’s continuing ambitious fleet expansion and renewal plans. The narrowbody Airbus planes will seat 232 passengers and will feature innovative cabin lighting, new seating products, and 60% larger overhead baggage bins.
“Jet2.com will be proud to operate the Airbus A321neo in the years ahead,” says Jet2 Executive Chairman Philip Meeson. “This aircraft is, in our opinion, the most efficient and environmentally friendly aircraft in its class today.”
What do you think of Jet2’s decision to go with Airbus A321neos? Should the airline have stuck with Boeing? Post a comment and let us know.