A shift back to an all-Boeing fleet is under consideration as easyJet weighs up a major new aircraft order.
The budget carrier operates a fleet of 213 aircraft and flew its last Boeing last year after converting to an all-Airbus fleet over a period of a decade.
Chief executive Carolyn McCall told the Financial Times that if easyJet were to go ahead with an order, it would be aiming for a single-manufacturer fleet – either by sticking with Airbus, whose A320 and A319 models it currently flies, or by shifting entirely to Boeing.
She said: “There would be a transition plan and Boeing would have to obviously work very, very hard on price and would have to cover some of the costs of being a dual fleet for a period of time because the aim would always be to go back to being a single fleet.
“We are deadly serious about that competition between the two manufacturers and Boeing knows that. They will work very hard for our business.”
A return to an all-Boeing fleet could involve as many as 100 firm orders as well as a large number of options – which guarantee prices and delivery dates – and purchase rights, which only guarantee prices. That would allow easyJet to fix the costs of eventually trading out all its Airbus aircraft in favour of Boeing models, the newspaper reported.
But easyJet faces a battle with founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, who controls 37% of the shares and believes the group already has too many aircraft.
“Our analysis suggests planes in the off-peak months are either idle or working reduced schedules. Also, it’s a very young and modern fleet. What’s the urgency?” a spokesman for Sir Stelios told the FT.
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