easyJet splashes out on 15 Airbus aircraft

easyJet splashes out on 15 Airbus aircraft

easyJet has confirmed it will exercise an option on 15 new aircraft from Airbus, with delivery to be completed before 2014.

The A320 aircraft will be employed by the Luton-based low-cost carrier to develop routes in Europe as it battles to maintain market share with rival Ryanair.

New options have also been taken out for a further 33 A320 aircraft.

In addition, 20 of the A319 aircraft which easyJet had contracted to acquire from Airbus have been converted into orders for A320 aircraft.

easyJet chief executive, Carolyn McCall, said: “We are pleased to announce this agreement with Airbus.

“It will help deliver easyJet’s strategy of continued profitable growth towards our target of 12 per cent return on capital employed through the cycle, while providing even more flight capacity for our passengers.

“A central feature of the agreement is the flexibility it gives easyJet to vary the growth rate in its capacity to reflect economic conditions and market opportunities.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Stelios Haji-Ioannou

Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou welcomed the prospect of turnover increasing from the capacity boost.

Following the announcement he said: “We shall see if these 15 incremental aircraft will find deployment on profitable new routes and earn the appropriate return on capital employed.

“I am still hoping to get greater transparency on which routes these and any other new aircraft are to be deployed.”

Stelios - whose family controls 38 per cent of the shares in easyJet – has previously been critical of easyJet’s expansion plans.

Airbus

Airbus list prices for A320 aircraft presently start at US$73 million, valuing the present deal at US$1.1 billion.

However, easyJet has secured “substantial confidential price concessions” with the European manufacturer and released no further information on the price.

The deal will see the easyJet fleet rise to 220 aircraft from September 2013, while the proportion of A320s will rise from 12 to 25 per cent.