Avianca Holdings S.A., the Colombian parent company for two commercial air carriers, Colombia’s Avianca and El Salvador’s TACA Airlines, entered into a memorandum of understanding to purchase 100 A320neo single-aisle aircraft from Airbus SAS. If fully carried out, the purchase program would be worth $10.6 billion at current list prices.
Avianca operates subsidiaries in most Latin American nations, and reportedly plans to base its fleet renewal strategy on the A320neo family of aircraft.
“We are proud that Avianca will rely on the A320neo, its unbeatable productivity and fuel efficiency to renew its fleet,” noted John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer, Customers.
The Airbus A320 series are among the most widely used aircraft in commercial aviation, with about 6,400 jets delivered to over 400 customers.
The A320neo will be introduced in 2016 as a fuel-efficient variant of the A320, with a larger payload and a range of 500 miles. To date, Airbus has reported 2,817 orders for the A320neo.
Among those orders, To date, Airbus has 245 firm orders for A320neos from seven customers in Latin America — Azul, Interjet, LAN, TAM, VivaAerobus, Volaris and Avianca.
The A320neo will have much the same airframe as the current A320 series but a more efficient engine (either the CFM International LEAP 1A or Pratt & Whitney PW1100 G) and wing design that will help the A320neo to achieve fuel savings of up to 15 percent. Estimates also call for the jets to produce significantly less CO2 and NOx emissions, and reduced engine noise.
“After a thorough technical evaluation, we selected the A320neo family for its excellent fuel efficiency, reliability, and comfort,” said Fabio Villegas Ramirez, Avianca Chief Executive Officer. “These qualities are essential to further our growth and fleet modernization strategy and improve our passenger experience.”
“The A320neo Family is the ideal aircraft for Avianca’s longest, single-aisle routes and high-altitude airports within their network,” Leahy added.
Avianca has partnered with Airbus on its fleet modernization and expansion programs for years. In 2012, Avianca ordered 51 A320 Family aircraft, including 33 A320neo aircraft. The airline group has combined orders for nearly 200 Airbus aircraft, with nearly 130 currently in operation.