AirAsia and LATAM among latest to convert to A320neo

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Budget carriers AirAsia and Tigerair as well as the Latin American LATAM group have each been revealed as having converted A320 orders to the A320neo.

Conversion from the baseline aircraft to the re-engined version had originally been prohibited by Airbus as it built its A320neo order book.

But the airframer is having to resort to offering the switch to cope with its A320 backlog, in order to avoid deferring deliveries beyond the date by which it intends to complete A320neo production cutover.

Airbus Group chief Tom Enders had recently stated that this strategy would appear to increase the number of cancellations on the airframer's books.

The manufacturer recorded 44 A320-family cancellations in July.

Conversions accounted for 39 of these, according to Airbus’s latest order backlog. It shows that AirAsia converted 23 aircraft and LATAM converted 16.

It confirms the Qantas conversion of 21 jets in June, identified by Flightglobal last month, and also reveals that Tigerair switched nine aircraft in May.

Airbus secured net orders for 732 A320-family aircraft over the first seven months of 2014.