Tunisia’s Syphax Airlines has firmed up its provisional order for three Airbus A320neo and three A320ceo narrowbody aircraft, the planemaker said in a statement on Thursday.
The aircraft are worth a total of $576 million based on list prices. They will be powered by engines from the CFM International joint venture of General Electric and Safran.
A provisional order for the aircraft was announced during the Paris Airshow last month.
Syphax Airlines’ order is the first time an African based carrier has ordered the NEO (new engine option) and marks a significant breakthrough for Airbus in one of the world’s fastest developing markets, Airbus said.
“Syphax Airlines is focused on continuing to grow its Tunisian, North Africa and Europe routes, and an expansion of its network to Asia and North America, through its hubs in Tunis and Sfax while offering passengers a luxurious service,” said Syphax Chairman and Director General, Mohamed Frikha. “Adding the A320neo to our fleet means we can achieve all of these goals while benefitting from a 15 percent fuel saving and cost effectiveness.”
“We thank Syphax Airlines for their confidence in Airbus and for being the first African carrier to place an order for our NEO aircraft,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers. “We’re looking forward to seeing Syphax’s A320neo aircraft operating seamlessly alongside their current A320 fleet, delivering to them savings through reduced maintenance and pilot training costs as a result of the high degree of commonality between the aircraft models.”
The airline already operates 2 A319 and 3 A320 aircraft and will shortly commence operating a leased A330-200.
The A320neo is offered as an option for the A320 Family and incorporates new more efficient engines and large “Sharklet” wing tip devices, which together will deliver up to 15 percent in fuel savings.
At the end of June 2013, firm orders for the NEO stood at 2245 from 40 customers.