EasyJet will buy a number of planes from Airbus in a setback to rival Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA), which has had a share of setbacks due to problems with batteries on its 787 Dreamliner. The battery problem took the Dreamliner out of service for months.
After a thorough technical evaluation, easyJet has earmarked the Airbus A320neo for its future fleet requirements.
Based on the company’s growth forecasts, the A320 was selected for offering the best productivity, lowest operating cost and best fuel efficiency of any single aisle aircraft in the 180 seat sector. Currently easyJet operates a fleet largely based on the smaller A319 seating 156 passengers.
Subject to shareholder approval, easyJet has identified a future need for 100 A320neo aircraft. These will be preceded by 35 A320ceo aircraft equipped with Sharklets. Of the 135 aircraft, 85 will be for replacement.
Reuters reported that easyJet paid much less than list price for the planes. The news service added:
Airbus and Boeing have both been pitching commercial terms to Europe’s second-largest budget carrier in recent weeks, with Airbus emerging as the front-runner by last week, sources told Reuters last Thursday.