South Korea’s Asiana Airlines has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Airbus for the purchase of 25 A321neo single aisle aircraft as part of its ongoing fleet modernisation programme. Seating 180 passengers in a two class layout, the new aircraft will be operated on the carrier’s regional services, as well as on selected domestic routes. Asiana will make a decision on its engine of choice for the aircraft at a later date.
The A321neo will join an existing fleet of A320 Family aircraft operated by Asiana Airlines and its low cost subsidiary Air Busan, with the A321 set to become the primary single aisle type at both units.
“The A320 Family is a proven success with Asiana Airlines and Air Busan, combining reliability, excellent operating economics and superior passenger comfort,” said Kim Soo Cheon, President & CEO, Asiana Airlines. “With the A321neo we will be able to look forward to even greater levels of efficiency, with a 20 per cent reduction in fuel consumption and increased flying range. The acquisition of the A321neo underscores our strategy to operate only the most modern and efficient aircraft that the industry has to offer.”
“We are pleased to announce this latest commitment from Asiana Airlines,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers. “The A321neo will bring the airline the lowest operating costs of any single aircraft, flying passengers in comfort on flights of up to six hours. We will be proud to see the A321neo flying in Asiana colours, as part of a fleet that includes aircraft from the entire Airbus product line.”
Asiana Airlines currently operates 33 Airbus singe aisle aircraft, 15 widebody A330-300s and two double deck A380s. In addition to its newly announced commitment for the A321neo, the airline has outstanding orders for four more A380s and 30 all-new A350 XWBs for operation on its long haul network. Meanwhile, Air Busan currently operates nine A320 Family aircraft on its domestic and regional services.
The A321 is the largest member of the best-selling single aisle A320 Family. To date, the A320 Family has won more than 11,500 orders and more than 6,400 aircraft have been delivered to 400 customers and operators worldwide.