For the first time, Brussels Airlines has added a brand-new aircraft from its aircraft manufacturer to its fleet. The plane in question is an Airbus A320neo. Four more such aircraft, which are quieter and less polluting than older aircraft, will follow in the coming months.
The aircraft, produced at the Airbus factory in Toulouse, has 180 seats and is intended for short- and medium-haul flights. More modifications are planned, and the aircraft will carry passengers within a few weeks.
30% less emissions
Brussels Airlines has ordered five A320neos – ‘neo’ for ‘new engine option’. They should be delivered by the end of 2024.
The new aircraft will replace older and smaller Airbus A319 aircraft in the fleet, which counts 43 aircraft with an average age of 17 years – a well-maintained plane usually has a lifespan of 30 years. “This will increase capacity while reducing emissions,” says Brussels Airlines. “Per passenger, emissions will drop by 30% thanks to the neo.”
$110,6 million list price
The brand-new aircraft – previously, the 16-year-old Brussels Airlines, born from the ashes of Sabena, had only used aircraft in its fleet – has an overall length of 37,57 meters and a wingspan of 35,80 meters. The neo is a real success number for Airbus: for the moment, a total of 9 717 A320neo family aircraft have been ordered by more than 130 customers.
The aircraft weighs 78 tons, has a range of 6 300 km, and a cruise speed of 1 1013 km/hour. The A320neo costs a neat 110,6 million dollars at the list price.
However, according to the newspaper La Libre Belgique, Lufthansa, which bought the plane and is leasing it to Brussels Airlines, paid a much lower amount, given the group’s massive aircraft purchase from Airbus. The Germans also obtained discounts due to the manufacturer’s delays.
The plane, which also has 60% more passenger luggage space and a flexible lighting system, would first fly at airports where the noise problem is significant, such as London Heathrow, before flying to more distant destinations such as Egypt.
Vote of confidence
“Modernizing our fleet is crucial to reduce our carbon footprint,” says Brussels Airlines CEO Dorothea von Boxberg. According to the airline, a neo-plane consumes up to 20% less fuel, emits less CO2, and is half as quiet as the previous generation of aircraft.
Brussels Airlines and its German parent group Lufthansa aim to halve their net emissions by 2030 (compared to 2019) and be climate-neutral by 2050.
“Brussels Airlines has worked hard to be profitable again. This brand-new aircraft for our company is a vote of confidence and support from Lufthansa Group for our team,” von Boxberg further stated.