Fort Lauderdale-based Azorra has signed a purchase agreement with Airbus for 22 A220 planes, including 20 A220-300s and a pair of ACJ 220s. At list prices, the deal is worth almost US$1 billion. Airbus says the order is another endorsement for the A220 family.
The order coincides with confirmation Airbus achieved its 2021 commercial aircraft delivery targets. Airbus delivered 611 aircraft last year. In contrast, the plane builder delivered 566 new planes in 2020.
Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury says the 2021 numbers reflect the focus and resilience of Airbus teams, customers, suppliers, and stakeholders worldwide.
“While uncertainties remain, we are on track to lift production through 2022 to meet our customers’ requirements,” he said on Monday.
Azorra A220 order gets 2022 off to a good start for Airbus
Airbus delivered 50 aircraft from the A220 family in 2021. As of November 30, they had orders for a further 464 A220s. Airbus will add the new Azorra order to its 2022 order book, kicking off 2022 nicely for the plane builder.
“Azorra is another industry player that recognizes the efficiency and versatility of the Airbus A220,” said Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Christian Scherer. “We’re convinced those A220s will be a great asset in the portfolio of this lessor.”
Azorra is an aircraft lessor that specializes in executive, regional, crossover, and small narrowbody aircraft. Over 25 years, they’ve dealt with over 100 airlines in 70 countries, trading more than 500 aircraft and managing 275 more.
In recent months, Azorra had delivered regional jets to American Airlines and airBaltic. They’ve also recently entered into a sale-leaseback transaction with Porter Airlines for five new E195-E2 aircraft, with the first delivery scheduled for the northern 2022 summer.
“The A220 is ideally suited for Azorra’s growing portfolio. We are excited to partner with Airbus on this popular, next-generation aircraft,” says Azorra CEO John Evans.
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ACJ TwoTwenty aircraft included in the Azorra order
What’s notable about this order is the inclusion of two ACJ TwoTwenty aircraft. Launched in late 2020, the business jet version of the A220 made its first flight only last month. Earlier this month, Airbus delivered its first ACJ TwoTwenty to charter airline Comlux.
Airbus calls the plane a “new and unique value proposition to business aviation buyers.” The jet can fly up to 6,524 miles (10,500 kilometers), giving it the ability to operate intercontinental flights. The cabin provides 73 meters square of flexible floor space – enough to meet the needs of most business jet owners.
The business jet program at Airbus often flies under the radar. However, to date, Airbus has built more than 200 business jets that remain in service worldwide.
Azorra rides the A220 trend
While the market for business jets is relatively small, Azorra is riding the popular trend ordering A220-300 passenger jets. Since first rolling the plane out, Airbus has taken orders for nearly 600 of the jets and has delivered roughly one-quarter of those.
“The addition of Azorra’s capabilities in the regional airline segment is a welcome endorsement for the A220 versatility,” said Christian Scherer. “This agreement will enhance Azorra’s portfolio strategy of investing in the most comfortable and modern technology aircraft in this segment while it will also enable us to offer A220 Family solutions to an increasingly wider spectrum of airlines”, he added.
The crossover plane not only helps airlines achieve their environmental targets, but is also reasonably cost-effective to fly. The A220’s ability to fly short regional routes or skinny longer routes offers operators a high degree of flexibility. That is something high on the agenda of most airlines.