Easyjet Showcases A320neo At Manchester

by Nigel Howarth
Feb 05, 2018

Easyjet, one of the world’s largest low-cost airlines, and one of the world’s biggest customers of Airbus, recently held a “meet the Neo” event at Manchester Airport. The airline already operates over 280 A319/A320 aircraft over its three European operations (UK, Austria and Switzerland) and in July 2017 it took delivery of the first of 100 A320neos that is had on order. 

The 100 A320neos are all planned to be in service by 2022.

The Neo (which stands for new engine option) doesn’t look too different on the outside to the A320ceo (current engine option), except for the larger CFM LEAP-1A engines, and in Easyjet’s case, the large "Neo" letters on the rear fuselage.

 

And to be honest, it doesn’t look too dissimilar on the inside either, but then this isn’t an aircraft development meant to be a game-changer for the passenger, but rather for the airlines that operate them.

With a 15% saving on fuel (typically an airline’s single biggest expense), and a corresponding reduction of 15% in carbon emissions, coupled with a huge noise reduction of around 50% on take-off and landing, the A320neo family is all about cost-saving and  environmental impact. Numerous weight-saving initiatives include electronic flight bags (EFBs) in the cockpit instead of wads of paper, and lightweight Recaro seats.

The slim seats allow for an extra row of six seats in the same cabin as older A320s while not diminishing the legroom. 

 

 

Easyjet operate to over 140 airports in 31 countries across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, on 880 routes from 28 bases. 80 million passengers fly on the unmissable orange jets each year, including 3.5 million from Manchester, where 12 aircraft are based. Easyjet is the second largest airline at Manchester (which is the UK’s third busiest airport), flying to 53 airports in 22 countries.

At its inception in the mid 1990s, Easyjet’s earliest bases were London-Luton, and Liverpool, but passenger demand soon warranted an expansion to operations from the much larger and better connected Manchester and London-Gatwick airports, alongside those original bases. Originally a Boeing 737 operator, Easyjet soon moved to an all-A319 fleet, and then a mixed operation of A319s and A320s. There are now four of the 100 A320neos in service, and this summer will see the first of their 30 larger A321neos join the fleet, seating around 50 more passengers than the 320neo.

The older, smaller A319s will be phased out, while the newer Neos will allow the airline to open up new routes that cannot be profitably served with the current older CEO fleet.

One example is from the UK to the Greek island of Skiathos: currently Easyjet doesn’t operate the route, as the island has such a short runway, that aircraft cannot take off with a full payload and fly to the UK without a fuel stop. The A321neo will be able to accomplish this and no doubt many other previously unserved routes.

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