Azul Ramps Up Fleet Replacement Plan
Brazilian airline Azul will accelerate its aircraft replacement plan with the introduction of 21 new aircraft this year including Embraer E2s and more Airbus A320neos.
Azul is planning to add 12 Airbus A320neo-family aircraft this year, an increase of five from its previous projection, to take its year-end total to 32 of the type.
It will also take delivery of six Embraer E2 jets, up from the two it originally planned. Rounding off the 2019 acquisitions, it will now take three Airbus A330s, down one from the four it had previously expected to add.
As the São Paulo-based airline expands its new generation fleets it is cutting back on older aircraft, with 15 Embraer E-195s and three ATRs going this year. That is also an acceleration of its aircraft divestment plans, with seven more E-195s and the three ATRs additional to its previous projection.
The changes will mean a net increase in Azul’s fleet size to 129 from year-end 2018’s total of 123. The additional aircraft, plus the switch to larger planes will see a capacity increase of 18 percent in available seat km terms by the end of this year.
Chief executive John Rodgerson said “Azul ended 2018 with a fleet of 20 A320neo aircraft, which provide significant revenue uplift to all parts of our business.”
He said the benefits of the switch to new generation aircraft include a 29 percent lower seat cost than the carrier’s current aircraft.