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Key Airbus customer: EasyJet boss: ‘I don’t believe in long-haul low-cost flights’

Key Airbus customer: EasyJet boss: ‘I don’t believe in long-haul low-cost flights’

The low-cost airline expects hundreds of new aircraft from Airbus over the next 10 years. The A321 XLR will not be added. Johan Lundgren, President of Easyjet, explains why.

Easyjet is doing well economically. The British low-cost airline expects group profits before tax to range between 440 and 460 million pounds (equivalent to 510 and 533 million euros) for the last financial year. For the first time, the airline also announces its earnings at its Berlin base. In total, easyJet carried more than 82 million passengers in financial year 2023. And signs point to growth.

To address this, easyJet will take delivery of new aircraft in two phases. In the first phase until 2029, Airbus still has open orders for 158 aircraft. For the second phase from 2029 to 2034, the airline has firm orders for 157 aircraft and has options for up to 100 more. All orders are for A320 Neo and A321 Neo.

This speaks against long-term, low-cost approaches

Unlike Hungarian low-cost carrier Wizzair and perhaps also Eurowings, Easyjet will not order the Airbus A321 XLR – the airline’s president Johan Lundgren told aeroTELEGRAPH in Berlin last week. “For economic reasons, I don’t believe in the long-term low-cost business model,” Lundgren explained. “The longer the flight, the less profitable it becomes in the low-cost business.”

According to the easyJet president, the company cannot operate on long-haul flights because the margins on low-cost airlines are much lower and at the same time lack the high-priced travel classes with which classic airlines earn the most money on long-haul flights. Distance trips. “We don’t have first class or business class,” Lundgren stressed.

A beacon of hope for medium-sized airports

XLR stands for Extra Long Range. The A321 Neo with an additional tank should be able to fly 8,700 kilometers – if the additional fire protection measures that become necessary do not limit this. The plane, now scheduled for its first delivery in 2024, is seen as a beacon of hope in Germany, especially for medium-sized airports such as Düsseldorf or Hamburg aiming to open new long-haul routes.