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ExCeL London - 22-23 June 2021
Easyjet has announced a major order for new Airbus A320s despite pleas not to buy new aircraft by founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou.
Easyjet has ordered a total of 135 Airbus A320 including 35 current A320 aircraft for delivery between 2015 and 2017, as well as 100 new generation A320 Neo aircraft , which can carry up to 180 passengers and will be received from 2017 to 2022.
Easyjet’s decision to buy new aircraft has again put it on collision course with Haji-Ioannou, who remains the airline’s largest shareholder and has long opposed a major order for new aircraft. The new order has a list price of $11.9 billion but Easyjet said it had been given a "substantial discount" by Airbus, although it gave no further details.
Carolyn McCall, Easyjet’s chief executive, called the announcement a “great outcome for Easyjet, our shareholders and our passengers”.
“All manufacturers competed hard for the Easyjet business,” said McCall. “Both Airbus and Boeing offered us new generation aircraft that met our requirements and offered greatly improved fuel efficiency.
“Ultimately, Airbus offered us the best deal, and at a price with a greater discount to the list price than their landmark fleet purchase with Easyjet in 2002.”
Haji-Ioanou said the order "raises more questions than answers" and added that it was "another huge capital expenditure deal with the same supplier at secret prices" .
"We will ask all our questions when we have seen the full shareholder circular which must include the actual price to be paid for each aircraft and the incremental profit each of these aircraft will actually deliver," he added.
Easyjet’s order means that it is scheduled to have a fleet of 276 aircraft by 2022 but the company said it had the flexibility to change the size of its fleet between 165 and 298 aircraft “depending on economic conditions and opportunities available”.
Meanwhile Ryanair shareholders have unanimously approved its order for 175 Boeing 737-800 aircraft to be delivered over a five-year period from 2014 to 2018. The order was approved at an extraordinary general meeting held today (June 18).