Greek SKY express Takes Delivery Of 1st A320neo

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On November 27th, Greek regional carrier SKY express took delivery of its first Airbus A320neo. The aircraft took off from Airbus facilities in Toulouse, heading to the SKY express hub of Athens, Greece. Ordered only in October, the airline expects to take delivery of five more A320neo jets.

A320neo Sky express
The order for four A320neos from Airbus and an additional two on lease makes SKY express the newest Airbus customer. Photo: Airbus

“Our cooperation with Airbus, through the acquisition of six brand new Α320neo aircrafts, meets our ambition to modernize our fleet and have our company transition to a new era.” – Ioannis Grylos, Owner of SKY express and Head of IOGR Group of Companies

https://twitter.com/skylinerav/status/1332735164330467328

Flight details

According to data from FlightRadar24.com, on November 27th, SKY express’ first Airbus A320neo, registered as SX-IOG, departed Toulouse at 09:13, en route to Athens, Greece as flight SXIOG (a flight number identical to its registration).

After a flight time of just over three hours, the aircraft landed in Athens at 13:26. All times listed are local.

A320neo Sky express
The aircraft took a less-than-direct route to its new home, choosing to fly over the Swiss Alps rather than directly over the waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Photo: FlightRadar24.com
A320neo Sky express
Since arriving at its new home, the aircraft has already made subsequent flights, heading to Heraklion and back on November 30th. Photo: FlightRadar24.com

According to an airline press release, the inaugural service for the brand new jet will take place on December 14th, flying from Athens to Thessaloniki.

“With competitive fares and flexible personalized services, the airline offers new, attractive options to the residents of Thessaloniki and Northern Greece as a whole. Gradually, in the coming months, the company’s flight operation with the Airbus fleet type will expand, adding the Athens – Rhodes route, as well as other direct connections in Greece and abroad.” – SKY express

The Airbus A320neo and SKY express

Perhaps most interesting about this delivery is the fact that the initial order for the jets was only made on October 14th, 2020, meaning that it took just over a month between an order announcement and delivery of a brand new aircraft. Considering Airbus’ A320 family backlog goes into the thousands, one has to wonder how the carrier could acquire brand new jets so quickly?

In our initial article about this order, we wrote that the initial aircraft would come from ACG Aviation Capital Group. However, looking at data from AIB Family Flights, aircraft from SKY express and ACG Capital do not appear to be completed just yet.

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AirAsia_First A320neo
Could SKY express’ A320neo have come from AirAsia? Photo: Airbus

Data from Planespotters.net shows states that this aircraft was actually an order from AirAsia that was not taken up. Earlier this year, news emerged that Airbus was inviting bids for six aircraft initially made for AirAsia.

The timing of the recent sale and news that Airbus had sold six A320neos would add further confirmation that the Planespotters.net data is correct.

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Of course, this is not something that Airbus would confirm. Our inquiry into the sold “whitetails” resulted in the planemaker telling us: “We have nothing more to add, our contractual talks with customers we keep confidential.”

What do you think of SKY express’ decision to take the AirAsia A320neos? Was it a good opportunity at a likely good deal? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Simple Flying reached out to SKY express inquiring about its order and first delivery. At the time of publication, no response was received.

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