Jetstar is seriously considering ordering the Airbus A320NEO, a potential blow to its current engine supplier International Aero Engines.
The Australian carrier’s group CEO, Bruce Buchanan, made the disclosure during a conference call with Aviation Week and other Singapore-based journalists. He declines to say when Jetstar will make a decision on NEO. “It is a complicated decision” but Jetstar is in discussions with Airbus and both engine-makers, he adds.
CFM International and Pratt & Whitney are the only ones allowed to offer NEO. If Jetstar orders the NEO, then it means its A320 fleet will have two different types of engines.
Buchanan says Jetstar already outsources engine maintenance and support to the engine-makers, so ordering NEO will add no major complexity or additional costs to the Jetstar business. Low-cost carriers generally keep to one aircraft and engine type in an effort to simplify the business and keep costs down.
Jetstar in recent years has added additional aircraft types such as the Airbus A330. Buchanan says the Qantas board this month granted approval for Jetstar to get an additional A330 on lease. This is required so the carrier can continue to expand in spite of the delay in Boeing 787s on order. Buchanan says the additional A330 is likely to arrive in 2012’s second half. Its first 787 is due to arrive in late 2012, he adds.