International Airlines Group (IAG) has placed a major order with Airbus to renew its fleet of short-haul aircraft.
The Anglo-Spanish company, which operates British Airways and Iberia, has ordered up to 220 Airbus A320 aircraft, 120 of which will go to Vueling, its recently-acquired Spanish subsidiary. IAG said the new jets would be used to “replace some of [Vueling’s] existing A320 fleet and expand its business”.
The Vueling deal comprises 62 firm orders – 30 standard A320s and 32 of the new fuel-efficient model, the A320neo, along with options for a further 58 aircraft. The A320s will be delivered to Vueling between 2015 and 2020.
In addition, IAG has ordered 100 A320neos to be operated by BA, Iberia or Vueling, as replacements for its existing aircraft. The 220-aircraft order is worth approximately US$20 billion at list prices, although IAG said it had “negotiated a very substantial discount”.
“Vueling has managed to successfully expand its business profitably by targeting both growth markets and those areas where weak competitors are reducing capacity. These new aircraft will enable Vueling to continue that expansion and replace some of its older fleet with modern, fuel-efficient aircraft, leading to further unit cost reductions,” said IAG’s chief executive, Willie Walsh.
“The benefits that the merger brings to all our airlines are highlighted once again. In addition to the Vueling order, we have also been able to secure a further 100 A320neo options for all the airlines in the group,” he added.
Vueling currently has a fleet of 70 A320s, while BA and Iberia operates approximately 175 short-haul aircraft between them, including A319s, A320s A321s and Boeing 737s.
The new short-haul orders follow IAG’s recent deals for up to 54 long-haul aircraft, including B787s and A350s.