September 30, 2013
If an airline orders more than 100 new aircraft, then two months later says 95% of its annual maintenance and engineering contracted work is up for retender by 2017, the industry should take note.
While EasyJet did exactly this in July and September, the news does not signal a seismic shift in its operation. Rather, the carrier is continuing to do what it does well—run a lean, low-cost operation.
EasyJet vetted proposals from Airbus, Boeing and Bombardier, but Airbus's final price seemed to clinch the deal.
The airline's young fleet will grow in the next five years to 280 from 215, as it starts taking the 35 current-generation jets—all of which will be delivered from 2015-17. Airbus will deliver 100 A320neos from 2017-22.
“We are still evaluating engines for the neos and expect to make a decision early next year, but we are focusing more on the evaluation process than on the deadline,” says Gary Smith, head of powerplant and fleet transition.
EasyJet recently held a supplier conference to educate vendors about its fleet changes—and to encourage them to move beyond traditional maintenance approaches.
“We fly 1,200-1,400 sectors per day,” so efficiency gains with those kinds of numbers multiply savings, Smith says.