easyJet today announced that it had selected Airbus as the preferred supplier for 120 A319 aircraft, with options with price protection on a further 120 A319s.
The first five of the A319s will be delivered to easyJet in the second half of 2003, and all the aircraft in the firm order will be delivered by the end of 2007. Engines have yet to be selected.
Based on list prices, the deal, which is subject shareholder approval, could be worth about $6.2 billion although financial details of the deal were not formally disclosed.
‘After exhaustive research and several rounds of negotiation with both Airbus and Boeing, the Board is convinced that we have achieved a tremendous deal which will produce a step-change reduction in our cost base,’ said Ray Webster, easyJet Chief Executive.
‘We believe that the overall deal which they have offered us, together with their willingness to support the costs of introducing a new aircraft type to our fleet far outweigh the costs of the complexity of running a dual fleet.’
‘At the end of the day ‘low cost’ companies remain ‘low cost’ by not wasting money,’ commented Stelios Haji-Joannou, easyJet Chairman. ‘Sticking to old-fashioned fads like ‘low cost airlines only fly Boeing’ does not reduce costs.’
The new A319s will be introduced initially via easyJet’s Geneva base from August 2003 operating under easyJet’s Swiss air operator’s licence.