EasyJet is to purchase 56 Airbus A320neos and convert 18 A320neos to 18 A321neos, with the aircraft due to be delivered by the end of the decade.

The aircraft will be used to replace existing airframes as they are retired.

Four years to delivery

In a note to investors, the low-cost carrier said the jets would enter the fleet between FY 2026 and FY 2029.

The proposed purchase completes a 2013 agreement with Airbus and easyJet said the aircraft were “priced very substantially below the Airbus list price”.

The agreement will convert 18 A320neo aircraft planned for delivery between FY 2024 and FY 2027 to 18 A321neo deliveries.

More seats

The new A320 (186 seats) and A321 neo (235 seats) aircraft will replace older A319s (156 seat) and A320s (180 and 186 seat).

The investor note states: “Airbus delivery slots are increasingly scarce, with no slots being available until 2027. By securing delivery slots now, easyJet ensures future deliveries between FY 2026 and FY 2029 to replace aircraft leaving the fleet. The Company and its group’s ability to maintain desirable slots and sustain its route network depends on the timely delivery of aircraft.”

Fuel efficiency

It adds: “The new aircraft will be used to replace older aircraft as they reach the end of their useful life. These aircraft will become economically unviable for our high intensity low-cost operation and will need replacement if we are to maintain the current scale of our business.

“The new aircraft will deliver between a 15 per cent and 25 per cent unit cost fuel efficiency improvement (depending on which aircraft they replace). This will significantly reduce easyJet’s fuel costs and therefore improve our overall cost base.”

Fleet refresh

Johan Lundgren, easyJet chief executive said: “The proposed purchase firms up our orders with Airbus between FY 2026 and FY 2029, continuing the company’s fleet refresh, as the older A319s and A320s leave the airline and new A320 and A321 neo aircraft enter, providing benefits to easyJet through up gauging, cost efficiencies and sustainability enhancements. We believe this will support positive returns for the business and the delivery of our strategic objectives.”

Subscribe to the FINN weekly newsletter