Budget carrier Jetstar has released first-look images of its new A321neo livery ahead of its planned deliveries, and in celebration of the airline’s 18th birthday.
Jetstar said the first of its 38 A321LR jets will arrive at its base in Melbourne “in the coming months”, about two years behind schedule in light of the pandemic.
The new livery retains the iconic Jetstar-orange underbelly and wingtips, however, now sees the colour extend onto the aircraft’s tail.
The new A321 jets will also boast wider seats than Jetstar’s existing narrowbody fleet, more overhead storage space, flip-down smartphone and tablet cradles, USB charging ports, and 50 per cent quieter engines.
Jetstar said the paint used on its new A321LRs is longer-lasting and reduces paint weight by up to 30 per cent compared to its predecessors, which will result in fuel savings of up to 108 tonnes per year across the fleet, reducing CO2 emissions by nearly 350 tonnes per year.
It comes as the airline celebrates 18 years in the air.
Jetstar was established as a low-cost subsidiary of Qantas in 2003, as a response to the entry of low-cost carrier Virgin Blue to the market. Jetstar took to the skies for the first time on 25 May 2004, with its inaugural flight from Newcastle to Melbourne Tullamarine.
“Today we’re excited to not only be celebrating our 18th birthday but also unveiling a new look for our incoming fleet of NEOs, representing a new era of flying for Jetstar,” said Jetstar Group CEO Gareth Evans.
“These modern aircraft are world-class in terms of performance, comfort and sustainability, ensuring our customers will enjoy a new range of benefits on board.
“With the NEOs arriving in our 18th birthday year, their arrival symbolises how we’ve grown to become the largest and most successful low-cost carrier in the Asia-Pacific region.”
A further eight aircraft are expected to be delivered between August 2022 and May 2023.
Meanwhile, the airline also anticipates welcoming 20 A321XLR (extra-long range) jets between 2024 and 2029, allowing the airline’s narrowbody fleet to fly to destinations even further away.
Evans said the extended range of these NEOs will also open up new international opportunities for the budget carrier, which could see Jetstar expand its international network.
The order was first announced in early 2018, with deliveries then expected to begin in 2020.
The aircraft will be configured in a single-class cabin of 232 ergonomic seats. The jets utilise fuel-efficient CFM LEAP engines, which reduce fuel burn by at least 15 per cent compared to the existing A320/21 fleet and reduce noise by up to 50 per cent.
Jetstar said its new A321neo fleet will first be deployed on domestic routes such as Melbourne to Cairns and the Gold Coast, before the airline looks to expand to short-haul international flights.