International Airlines Group (IAG) has exercised options for ten Airbus A320neo’s, with the flexibility to convert them into A321neo’s if that suits the group better. The group says that the aircraft will replace A320ceo’s with any of its airlines, British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, and Vueling, it said on June 30. IAG exercises options for ten Airbus A320neo’s.
The ten options are part of the fifty purchase rights that IAG agreed with Airbus when it finalized an order for 37 A320neo family aircraft in October last year. Back then, the group said it held purchase rights for aircraft deliveries between 2028 and 2030. The first ten will be delivered in 2028, which indicates that IAG has secured timely firm delivery slots as the A320neo family is sold out through 2029. A decision on financing options will be made later.
In the O&D tables of Airbus as of May 31, IAG is listed with eighteen A320neo’s and 23 A321neo’s in the backlog. Iberia is showing with twenty A321neo’s on order and six that have been delivered. Aer Lingus has four A320neo’s on order and has taken delivery of two, while all six A321LRs have been delivered and the airline actually operates eight of them.
British Airways has 31 A320neo’s on order and operates twenty, with the split for the A321neo’s showing as eighteen/ten. Spanish low-cost Vueling has 33 A320neo’s on order and has taken delivery of 25, with another nine A321neo’s on order of which three are in service.
Engine selection still open
IAG will announce the engine selection at a later stage. British Airways’ neo’s currently use both the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-JM Geared Turbofan and the CFM LEAP-1A. Vueling only uses the GTF while Iberia and Aer Lingus have only the LEAP. Both engine types are suffering from durability issues that the engine makers expect to have solved in two to three years from now.
IAG also has 25 Boeing MAX 8200s and 25 MAX 10s on order. The group said in October last year that all aircraft would be placed with Vueling between 2023 and 2028, with the first high-density 8200 to be delivered this year. IAG hasn’t shared an updated fleet plan since then.
Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016.
In 2022, he has gone full-time freelance. Richard has been contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He is also writing for Airliner World and Aviation News and until July 1 2023 in a part-time role with Dutch website and magazine Luchtvaartnieuws. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.