Airbus clinches more orders during Dubai Air Show

Wing manufacture at Broughton

Aircraft manufacturer Airbus has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Jazeera Airways, the Kuwait-based carrier, for 20 A320neos (new engine option) and eight A321neos.

It follows news yesterday (November 15) that the group had secured orders for a total of 366 new aircraft from several customers.

The MoU was signed at the Dubai Air Show by Rohit Ramachandran, Jazeera Airways chief executive and Christian Scherer, Airbus chief commercial officer and head of Airbus International.

Airbus employs almost 4,500 staff at its Broughton site, near Chester, which makes wings for all its commercial aircraft.

Marwan Boodai, chairman Jazeera Airways, said: “Jazeera Airways is pleased to extend its long term relationship with Airbus further with this significant new order.

“We will effectively double our current fleet size to 35 aircraft by 2026. The airline has pulled out of the pandemic strongly in Q3 with a return to profitability. We have exciting expansion plans ahead, which will further boost our contribution to the Kuwait economy and, in particular, the travel sector.”

Christian Scherer said: “We are proud to extend our partnership with Jazeera Airways through this latest agreement which will add an additional 28 Airbus aircraft to its all Airbus fleet.

“The A320neo family is, without doubt, the best platform to support Jazeera Airways’ growth plans. This is the perfect illustration of how Airbus helps escort the growth of its successful customers.”

Rohit Ramachandran, CEO Jazeera Airways, said: “By taking both A320neo and A321 neo options we will have great flexibility to extend our network to medium and longer haul destinations from Kuwait, offering passengers more choice to travel and enjoy popular destinations as much as underserved ones.”

Jazeera Airways commenced operations in 2005 and has since emerged as a leading carrier in the region.

It is operating regionally and internationally serving Middle East, Europe and Asia’s top destinations from its home base Kuwait. The Kuwaiti airline supports the country’s 2035 vision to further economic expansion and transformation into a commercial hub.

The A320neo family incorporates the very latest technologies including new generation engines, Sharklets and aerodynamics, which together deliver 20% in fuel savings and CO2 reduction compared with previous generation Airbus aircraft.

The A320neo family has received more than 7,400 orders from in excess of 120 customers.

Akwa Ibom state government-owned airline in Nigeria, Ibom Air, has also signed a firm order for 10 A220s.

The signing was done by Mfon Udom, the chief executive of Ibom Air, and Christian Scherer, in the presence of the Akwa Ibom state governor, Mr Udom Gabriel Emmanuel.

Nigeria, with the largest population in Africa and the largest GDP, offers substantial growth potential in both domestic and regional travel. The A220 is, therefore, the ideal choice for a full range of services from very short-haul segments to intra-continental air routes.

Mfon Udom, said: “It gives me great pleasure to be here to announce Ibom Air’s order for 10 Airbus A220s. As an organisation, we at Ibom Air are delighted with the steep growth we have achieved in just over two-and-a-half years since we commenced operations, a growth chiefly driven by the massive embrace of our product and brand by the Nigerian domestic flying public.

“The addition of the A220 to our fleet will support our growth strategy and boost operational efficiency. It will also offer our passengers more space and enhanced cabin experience, as a value add for choosing us.”

Governor of Akwa Ibom state, Mr Udom Emmanuel, said: “The A220 will allow us to increase the number of annual passengers through Akwa Ibom Airport, in Uyo, thus bringing more first time visitors and business travelers to the region. These efforts reflect our commitment to supporting local commerce and making a positive contribution to socio-economic growth in Akwa Ibom state and Nigeria.”

Ibom Air currently operates two A220s. The airline flies to Uyo, Abuja, Calabar, Enugu, Lagos, and Port Harcourt. The purchase of the new A220s will enable the airline to continue on its growth path, offering new routes across not just Nigeria, but to the West African region and to Africa at large.

Christian Scherer said: “We are thrilled to add Ibom Air as a new Airbus customer. The A220 is ideally suited to Nigeria’s aviation needs, providing operational flexibility to grow the business by responding to demand for increased passenger services. Through this investment, Ibom Air is underscoring its ambition for regional and in due course, international connectivity and operational efficiency.”

By the end of October 2021, the A220 had accumulated 643 firm orders.