A new era in the aircraft upsizing trend
In September Avianca was the first airline in latin America and one of the first worldwide to take delivery of the newest member of the Airbus single aisle Family – the A321neo. In the region, airlines such as Avianca, Azul, Interjet, LATAM and Volaris have already committed to the largest member of the A320 Family and Airbus expects many more to follow this very real upsizing trend that is being experienced, not only in the region but worldwide. In fact, 45 percent of Airbus single aisle deliveries in the region in 2016 were for the A321, up from only 2 percent in 2013. While this level of deliveries are probably not sustainable, it is a clear indication of the direction the market is moving in.
This trend is also consistent with results from the recent Airbus Latin American and the Caribbean Market Survey where nearly three-quarters of respondents believe that airlines will need single-aisle modules larger than those currently in service over the next 10 years. Interestingly, 24 percent of respondents now see the future requirement to remain with aircraft of the same size, up from only 11 percent in 2015. This is probably a reflection of the fact that airlines have already started upsizing from A319s to A320s and from A320s to A321s.
So what is driving this trend? According to the survey there has been a dramatic shift in the most important factors affecting aircraft size, with airport constraints taking the top spot up from just over a third of respondents in 2015 to nearly half in 2017. Congestion is an issue that the industry is facing today and that will only become more challenging in the years to come. The A321 allows airlines to increase seating capacity, reduce unit costs and accommodate traffic growth with a single solution while addressing these airport constraints.
Innovation is also playing its part; the double-digit fuel burn savings of the A321neo means many routes that were previously beyond the range of the A321 can now be operated economically bringing more opportunites to see the A321neo flying in Latin American skies in the months and years to come.
For more information please contact:
Head of Marketing – Airbus Latin America and the Caribbean