Wizz Air investor Indigo Partners has placed an order for 50 of Airbus’s new A321XLR (extra long-range) aircraft, allowing the low-cost carrier to further grow its route network.
Indigo, a US-based private equity fund focusing on air transport, will divide the order between three of its airline investments, with Wizz taking 20; Frontier 18; and JetSMART 12.
The agreement includes a new order for 32 A321XLRs and conversion of an existing order for 18 A320neo family aircraft.
Airbus debuted its new long-range, single-aisle aircraft at the Paris Air Show this week, which is capable of flying routes of up to 4,700 nautical miles (5,400 miles).
The manufacturer says it will allow airlines to “exploit new route opportunities with low operating costs and reduced environmental impact”.
Indigo is the majority of four carriers, including Wizz, operating 295 Airbus aircraft, with a further 636 on order following the latest commitment. Of these, Wizz has 276 on order through 2026.
Wizz’s new aircraft will be delivered over a three-year period, starting in 2023.
Its variant will feature 239 seats, the same as its current A321neo aircraft, meaning it can be deployed across Wizz’s existing route network.
Chief executive Jozsef Varadi said the order represented a “significant opportunity” for Wizz to “further expand its network and connect points on the Wizz map currently out of reach”.
“Today, we are flying a number of five to six hour routes with great satisfaction to our customers, so the XLR will extend our outstanding value and service proposition on routes of seven to eight hours of flying,” said Varadi.
“The inherent aircraft economics of the Airbus A321XLR will widen our competitive advantage for stimulating demand for air travel in central and eastern Europe and beyond, while minimising our environmental footprint.”