Airbus landed the Dubai Airshow's first major order on Sunday with a massive deal to provide Indigo Partners and its portfolio of airlines—Wizz Air (Hungary), Frontier (U.S.), Volaris (Mexico), and JetSmart (Chile, Argentina)—with 255 A321neos, including 29 A321XLRs. The European airframer declined to place a value or price tag on the order.
Deliveries will begin to “trickle in” to the airlines over the next three years, said Airbus chief commercial officer Christian Scherer, with the bulk of the deliveries to occur in this decade’s second half. Airbus’s U.S. production facility in Mobile, Alabama, will build most of the aircraft.
“This order reaffirms our portfolio airlines’ commitment to consistent growth through the next decade,” said Bill Franke, managing partner of Indigo Partners. “We have an optimistic view of the market, and we wanted to be early to the process—that’s our strategy.
Wizz Air will take 102 jets, 27 of them A321XLRs. Frontier ordered 91 aircraft, all A321neos, and Volaris signed for 39. JetSmart's order for 23 neos included a pair of A321XLRs. The A321 XLR will fly to a range of 4,700 nautical miles.
“These are the business models that have been most resilient during the time of Covid,” said Wizz Air group CEO József Váradi, who noted the forthcoming neos will make his and the other airlines “more formidable coming out of Covid.”
Scherer noted that only 13 percent of the global airliner fleet consists of the latest-generation airliners and applauded the “environmental value of this purchase decision.”
The A321neo incorporates new-generation engines and Sharklet wingtip devices, which together deliver more than 25 percent fuel savings and CO2 emissions reductions while generating 50 percent less noise than older-generation aircraft.