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Wizz Air announce orders for up to 196 Airbus aircraft

Wizz Air Holdings has announced that it has signed an agreement with Airbus for the purchase of a further 102 Airbus A321 aircraft.

The order comprises 75 Airbus A321neo and 27 Airbus A321XLR aircraft, with the bulk to be delivered between 2025 and 2027.

Wizz Air may also acquire a further 19 A321neo aircraft.

Airbus has also granted Wizz Air 75 A321neo purchase rights for deliveries in 2028-29, to be converted into a firm order by the end of 2022.

As with previous orders, under the agreement Wizz Air has the right to substitute a number of the Airbus A321neo aircraft with the Airbus A320neo and/or A321XLR aircraft and vice versa, depending on its future requirements. Completion of the order remains subject to approval by Wizz Air shareholders.  

With the new order, Wizz Air’s delivery backlog comprises:

  • a firm order for 34 A320neo, 254 A321neo and 47 A321XLR aircraft
  • the additional order for 19 A321neo
  • purchase rights for 75 A321neo
  • a total of 429 aircraft

József Váradi, Wizz Air’s chief executive officer said:

After two years in service, Wizz Air’s Airbus A321neo continues to provide market-leading aircraft technology and choice – there is simply no other aircraft that can compete with it. With its next-generation engines, it has proven to be the game-changer that we said it would be when we placed our first order back in 2015.

But most importantly, these are by far the most fuel and cost efficient aircraft in their class – supporting us in maintaining our position as the most sustainable airline in Europe and reaching our sustainability goals of reducing CO2 emissions per passenger kilometre by 25% by 2030. It is important to note that if all European airlines switched to a modern Airbus A320/1 fleet like Wizz Air and operated them as efficiently as Wizz Air, the whole industry’s CO2 emissions would reduce by 34% overnight.

Wizz Air is an ambitious airline with a strategy that seeks to grow the company and will continue to stimulate demand for air travel in Europe and beyond by offering the lowest fares and CO2 footprint to our customers, while still delivering a great customer experience on-board one of the youngest fleets in Europe. Our current average aircraft age stands at 5.1 years, well below the industry average, but with this new order we will see this drop to 3.6 years by 2024, and even further to 3.2 years by 2026.

Despite strong demand for the aircraft, we have signed very attractive terms with Airbus for the long-term supply of more aircraft until the end of the decade, catapulting Wizz Air towards our aim of being a 500 aircraft group and putting us in an unassailable position when it comes to sustainability.

This new order, if approved by Wizz Air’s shareholders, would bring Wizz Air’s outstanding orders with Airbus to 429 Airbus A320neo Family aircraft.

Heathrow works with British Airways and partners to demonstrate how aviation is moving towards the “Perfect Flight”

Britain’s aviation industry has come together to operate a net zero flight.

The short flight – British Airways BA1476 from London Heathrow to Glasgow Airport – was powered directly by sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), provided by bp, blended at 35% with traditional jet fuel in accordance with technical aviation specifications. The remaining emissions produced by the flight were offset.

The aim of the flight was to show how far the aviation industry has progressed in its efforts to decarbonise over the last decade. Several factors within the journey were calibrated to achieve minimal emissions – from British Airways’ Airbus aircraft being pushed back by electric Mototok vehicles powered by Heathrow’s supply of 100% renewable electricity, to flying on the most direct routing and optimal flight level.

The flight was operated by an Airbus A320neo, the quietest and most fuel-efficient short-haul aircraft currently in British Airways’ fleet.

Air traffic controllers at NATS directed the aircraft on its continuous climb from Heathrow and descent into Glasgow, avoiding any levelling off, which causes an increase in fuel burn. The most direct routing was provided by NATS as well as the most optimal flight level and the aircraft was able to land without airborne holding; techniques that successfully saved fuel and reduced emissions.

The flight achieved a 62% CO2 emissions reduction compared to a decade ago – 34% from efficient aircraft and operations, 28% from the use of sustainable aviation fuel and the remaining 38% offset using high quality, verified carbon offsets.

This move towards the ‘Perfect Flight’ showcases a number of the solutions that can help to reduce emissions associated with flying. The industry can use sustainable fuels, reduce fuel consumption by using more efficient routes in the air, and utilise electric plug in power while on the ground to make flights more sustainable. Airports can also follow Heathrow’s lead by offsetting remaining emissions, using natural solutions such as tree planting and peatland restoration to remove carbon.

SAF is a proven technology that can work across the world to decarbonise aviation. While the solutions exist, the UK Government needs to urgently implement policies to scale up SAF, encourage the production of sustainable fuel and have the right price incentives for airlines to use it. This includes setting escalating mandates that requires a minimum of 10% SAF use by airlines by 2030, which British Airways and its parent company IAG committed to recently, increasing to at least 50% by 2050.

Heathrow has been at the forefront of advocacy and change on reducing carbon emissions in the aviation sector. In addition to incorporating the first shipment of SAF into its fuel supply system back in June, the major airport has been running on 100% renewable electricity for almost 5 years, with ongoing plans to switch from gas heating by the mid-2030s, becoming fully zero carbon. 90% of the airport’s cars and small vehicles are electric, with £7m invested in electric charging points. Heathrow’s one of the best-connected airports in the country by public transport with Crossrail soon connecting travellers through central London in addition to the tube and Heathrow Express.

Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye told us:

The Perfect Flight shows that the solutions to deliver net zero flight exist, we just need to scale them up. The faster we scale up supply and use of sustainable aviation fuels, the faster we can decarbonise aviation and protect the benefits of flying in a world without carbon. What is needed urgently is for Government to introduce policies to increase the supply of SAF and to provide the right price incentives for airlines to use it.

British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, Sean Doyle said:  

This flight offered a practical demonstration of the progress we’re making in our carbon reduction journey. By working together with our industry partners we’ve delivered a 62% improvement in emissions reductions compared to a decade ago. This marks real progress in our efforts to decarbonise and shows our determination to continue innovating, working with Governments and industry and accelerating the adoption of new low carbon solutions to get us closer still to the Perfect Flight of the future.

With BA Better World, we’re making progress on our journey to a sustainable future and have adopted a range of short, medium and long-term initiatives to get us to net zero emissions. Together, we can build a future for aviation that delivers the wonders of air travel while reducing the impact on the environment.

Airbus’ Executive Vice President Corporate Affairs and Communications, Julie Kitcher, told us:

The A320neo is a great example of how far our industry has come.  It meets all the ICAO environmental standards thanks to advances in engines, aerodynamics, cabin and flight operations. The A320neo burns 20% less fuel, which means less CO2, compared to its predecessor and is 50% quieter. 

BP Aviation Division CEO, Martin Thomsen said:

We are honoured to join forces with British Airways on this important initiative. At bp we are focusing on working with hard-to-abate sectors, such as aviation, as part of our ambition to be net zero by 2050 or sooner and to help the world get there too. By working collaboratively with industries, we can help to accelerate decarbonisation and we believe SAF will be one of the key solutions to fulfil this for the aviation sector.

Glasgow Airport CEO, Derek Provan said:

This flight demonstrates the progress the industry has made during the last decade and how we can work collectively to decarbonise aviation. As one of the UK’s largest airport groups, we are committed to achieving net zero by mid 2030s. This involves decarbonising our own infrastructure, including the roll out of fixed electrical ground power (FEGP), which is powered using 100% renewable energy sources.

NATS CEO, Martin Rolfe said:

Live demonstrations like this show just what is possible and are an important step on the aviation industry’s path to net zero by 2050. We can learn a lot from flights like these, as they help us understand how to redesign the airspace over the UK and play our part in making flying sustainable for the future.