British Airways Airbus A320neo

IAG, owner of British Airways, orders 37 more Airbus A320neos

International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG), the parent company of British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia and Vueling, plans to accelerate the expansion of its short-haul fleet by placing an order for 37 Airbus A320neo family aircraft. This latest addition will mark IAG’s third short-haul aircraft order from Airbus this year.

The first was in March for six Airbus A320neos and two Airbus A321neos, with the second taking place in June when IAG announced it was converting 14 options for the A320neo family aircraft into firm orders for 11 Airbus A320neos and three A321neo.


An order almost ten years old

The airline group will convert 12 options for Airbus A320neo family planes, dating back to an order placed in August 2013. At the time, the agreement for the modernization of its narrow-body fleet called for up to 220 Airbus A320. This large commitment was split between a firm order of 62, followed by another 58 for Vueling, and the remaining 100 to be distributed anywhere within the air group. IAG previously said it negotiated a substantial discount off the list price of the order, which was worth $5.4 billion for the 62 firm orders, and nearly $20 billion for the 220 devices.

Years passed and the air group made some changes to the order. Today’s order will see IAG convert 12 options into firm orders for the Airbus A320neos and A321neos. The airline conglomerate will also place an additional order for another 25 Airbus A320neo family aircraft with the option of purchasing another 50. IAG probably got a decent discount on that overall price.

Undetermined factors

Despite all the discounts obtained, the whole deal remains a considerable investment on the part of IAG. Nonetheless, IAG is confident it has a range of financing options and will choose the most appropriate source as the delivery deadline approaches – which is expected to be between 2025 and 2028. In a statement, the group said declared:

“The firm aircraft will be used to replace the A320ceo family aircraft in the Group’s short-haul fleet. The addition of these latest generations of more fuel-efficient A320neos is an important step towards IAG meeting its commitments. climatic.”

The IAG fleet currently operates around 53 Airbus A320neos and 23 Airbus A321neos. Photo: Tom Boon | single flight

The new fleet order is still subject to conditional approval by IAG shareholders. Although undecided on the exact composition of the fleet, the selection of engines for the aircraft remains to be determined, as is the carrier or carriers that will eventually operate them. However, the new aircraft will align with the group’s existing Airbus A320 family aircraft, meaning the configuration will be standardized for more accessible distribution across airlines. It remains to be seen how the Boeing 737 MAX, whose order was confirmed earlier this year, will fit into fleet plans.

The multi-billion dollar line

Although this is the third and potentially not the last modification from IAG to Airbus’ multi-billion dollar narrowbody order, it comes just a week after Boeing’s victory at the Farnborough Airshow in Britain. In addition to the IAG order, Airbus revealed a commitment from Condor just days after the airshow closed. The fact that Airbus no longer appears to be playing the air show game will relieve investors but frustrate industry experts. A sign of confidence from the European manufacturer, or something else?

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