Indonesian low-cost carrier Citilink has placed an order for 25 Airbus A320neo aircraft.
The new aircraft will be used to support the expansion of the airline’s domestic network. Since late November 2012, Citilink has launched two new routes, connecting Padang with Jakarta and Batam with Palembang, using its fleet of 14 A320s and seven Boeing 737s. The airline is planning to continue this growth, having already placed orders for 50 ATR 72-600 turboprop aircraft, prior to the A320neo order.
“The A320 has played a key role in the recent success of Citilink,” said Arif Wibowo, chief executive officer of Citilink. “The low operating costs, fast turnaround times and strong passenger appeal of the A320 make it perfect for our operation and we are looking forward to the even greater efficiencies that will come with the neo”
The order represents the first direct purchase by Citilink from Airbus, but the airline will receive 10 A320neos and 25 A320s previously ordered by its parent company, Garuda Indonesia. The A320neo is the new, fuel-efficient version of the single-aisle A320, which is expected to enter commercial service in 2015. Like its current A320s, Citilink is expected to operate the A320neos in a single-class, 180-seat configuration.
The deal marks a welcome boost for Airbus in Indonesia, where Boeing has been making significant headway in recent years. Garuda has generally preferred the B737-800 as its single-aisle aircraft of choice, while Jakarta-based Lion Air hit the headlines last year with an order for more than 200 B737 MAXs.
“We are pleased to welcome Citilink as a new customer of Airbus,” said John Leahy, Airbus’ Chief Operating Officer for Customers. “The order underscores the A320 family’s position as the preferred choice for full service and low cost carriers worldwide, both with the current and new engine options.”