Airbus recorded a major new order for 31 new aircraft from International Airlines Group, the London-based multinational holding company that includes British Airways and Iberia, the Spanish airline. The order includes eight A350 XWB jets, three A330-200s, and 20 A320neos, and is estimated to be worth $5.2 billion at current values.
The A350s and A330s are intended as part of a fleet-modernization for Iberia, and to help that carrier establish new long-haul routes; the A320neos will be allocated among the group’s airlines for fleet replacement.
The A350 XWB is Airbus’s new long-range, twin-engine wide-body aircraft series, a competitor to Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, that made its commercial debut earlier this year. Airbus now lists orders for nearly 800 of these jets, which is designed with extensive application for carbon-fiber materials for the fuselage and wings, to reduce weight and conserve fuel.
The A330 is the jet builder’s core wide-body aircraft, with over 1,200 jets in service for a reported 110 carriers worldwide since 1994.
The A320neo is a redesigned version of the Airbus A320 – with "neo" indicating the “new engine option” (either CFM International’s LEAP-1A or Pratt & Whitney’s PW1100G engine.) Airbus adopted aerodynamic improvements, weight savings, and various improvements to the cabin design, as well as the new engine options, to improve fuel-burn, emissions, and passenger comfort.
To date, it Airbus has drawn nearly 3,00 orders for the A320neo.
“IAG’s additional order for A350s and A330s is very significant for us and highlights the appeal of our leading wide-body family”, according to John Leahy, Airbu chief operating officer – Customers. “The repeat selection of the A320neo is also a great endorsement of the world’s preferred single-aisle family among the world’s most prestigious carriers.”