IN BRIEF | Qantas has firmed up a three-year old order for the Airbus A320neo with 99 of the next-generation jets due for delivery between 2016 and 2022.
Although the planes are intended for low-cost sibling Jetstar, Qantas has not ruled out drafting A320neos into its domestic fleet, which is currently built around the Boeing 737-800.
The order follows Air New Zealand's order for up to ten A320neo and three A321neo aircraft to sharpen the Kiwi carrier's competitive edge against Qantas on the trans-Tasman market.
The A320neo family uses high-efficiency engines with refined aerodynamics – including new wingtip designs – to deliver a claimed 15 percent saving on fuel, along with lower operating costs and reduced noise.
Airbus expects the A320neo's first test flight in September this year, with delivery to the first customer towards the end of 2015.
The aircraft manufacturer has also tweaked the cabin layout of the A321neo to add an extra 20 seats in a standard all-economy design, although Airbus A320neo executive Klaus Roewe maintains this is not just about "putting more sardines in the can."
Read more: Jetstar delays Airbus orders until 2022
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