EASYJET has a new aircraft that it believes will help keep its prices low as well as reducing its environmental footprint.
The low-cost airline received it’s first new Airbus A320neo at a ceremony at the manufacturer’s headquarters in Toulouse, France.
The Luton-based firm said the aircraft would deliver a 15 per cent increase in fuel efficiency, cut CO2 emissions by 15 per cent and reduce noise during take-off and landing by 50 per cent, compared with the current generation A320s.
EasyJet chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall described the aircraft as “a major step change for our fleet efficiency”.
She said: “We have to be as lean as we can possibly be and this helps us be very lean.”
The airline announced large half-year losses in May after being stung by the collapse in the value of the Brexit-hit pound and the later timing of Easter.
It reported a £236 million pre-tax loss in the six months to March 31, which compares with an £18 million loss in the same period last year.
EasyJet has ordered 100 A320neos powered by CFM LEAP-1A engines.
It will be based at Luton Airport and begin operating commercial flights to Amsterdam, Madrid and Edinburgh from Friday.
Dame Carolyn said: “It makes us more cost efficient. That’s only a good thing for a low-cost operating model.
“It means we can continue to do low fares and be very competitive.”
The airline’s “momentum” on reducing its cost per seat was “continuing at pace”, Dame Carolyn said.
Dame Carolyn described the decrease in noise with the A320neo as “really important” because of easyJet’s focus on using primary airports which are often near built-up areas.
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“That noise reduction becomes incredibly relevant at Gatwick, Schiphol (Amsterdam), Orly (Paris) and many others,” she explained.
EasyJet hopes the aircraft will help it meet a new target to reduce carbon emissions per passenger kilometre to 72 grams by 2022, which represents a 10% improvement on existing performance.
The airline has also ordered 30 of the larger A321neo, with the aim of increasing capacity at airports where slots are constrained.