South Korea’s Asiana Airlines has placed a firm order with Airbus for 25 A321neo aircraft. The contract, which finalises a commitment announced earlier this year, was signed at a special ceremony in Seoul by Kim Soo Cheon, President & CEO, Asiana Airlines and Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO.
Seating 180 passengers in a two class layout, the new aircraft will be operated on Asiana’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 finalisation of our latest order with Airbus will ensure that we will continue to operate the most efficient aircraft the industry has to offer in all size categories,” said Kim Soo Cheon, President & CEO, Asiana Airlines. “The A321neo will bring a 20 per cent reduction in fuel consumption and increased flying range. And for our passengers the aircraft will enable us to offer the very highest standards of service and comfort on even our shortest routes.”
“We are pleased to be the preferred partner of Asiana Airlines,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO. “The A321neo will bring the airline the lowest operating costs of any single aisle aircraft, flying passengers in comfort on flights of up to six hours. We will be especially proud to see the A321neo flying in Asiana colours, as part of a future fleet that will comprise aircraft from the entire Airbus product line.”
Asiana Airlines currently operates 33 Airbus singe aisle aircraft, 15 widebody A330-300s and four double deck A380s. Meanwhile, Air Busan currently operates 10 A320 Family aircraft on its domestic and regional services. Following this order, the Asiana Group now has firm orders with Airbus for 57 aircraft, comprising two more A380s, 30 mid-size widebody A350 XWBs and 25 A321neo.
The A321 is the largest member of the best-selling single aisle A320 Family. To date, the A320 Family has won more than 12,200 orders and over 6,700 aircraft have been delivered to more than 300 operators worldwide.
Incorporating new engines and the latest technologies, the A320neo Family will bring a step-change reduction in fuel consumption of over 15 per cent, longer range capability and reduced maintenance costs, as well significantly reduced carbon emissions. With over 4,300 orders received from more than 75 customers since its launch in 2010, the A320neo Family has captured almost 60 percent share of the market.