Airbus’s A320 Family has passed the 10,000 order milestone following new orders from US carrier JetBlue.
The historic deal sees JetBlue order 15 A321ceo (current engine option) and 20 A321neo (new engine option) aircraft as well as converting eight A320ceo and 10 A320neo aircraft order to eight A321ceo and 10 A321neo orders.
“We are pleased to convert some of our A320 positions to A321s, and order additional A321s to better match capacity with demand,” said JetBlue President and CEO Dave Barger. “The A321 is the ideal aircraft for our high density markets. In addition, a subfleet of the A321s will power our Mint premium service on the New York-Los Angeles and New York-San Francisco markets. It is the right aircraft for JetBlue’s lucrative routes. We eagerly look forward to the Sharklet retrofits and -NEO aircraft to further reduce operating costs.”
JetBlue will also be the first airline to take delivery of an aircraft from Airbus’s Mobile, Alabama A320 Family final assembly line, from 2016.
Meanwhile, the order also sees JetBlue become a launch partner of a Sharklet winglet retrofit program for existing A320ceo aircraft. Airbus said in a statement that operators of Sharklet retrofitted A320 Family aircraft “will benefit from a reduction in fuel costs by up to four per cent and increased mission range by up to 100nm”.
Sharklet retrofits will be available form 2015 and as well as fitting the wingtip device itself involves strengthening the wing structure of the aircraft.
Airbus has been delivering new-build Sharklet-equipped aircraft since December 2012.