Monarch commences re-fleeting programme with new A320

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Monarch has taken delivery of a new Airbus A320 aircraft fitted with sharklets under an operating lease agreement with CIT Leasing, according to Flightglobal's Ascend Online database.

The aircraft (MSN 5526) is the first of two new A320s from the lessor. The second aircraft (5581) is scheduled to join Monarch's fleet next month.

The aircraft forms part of the airline's expansion programme, which will see the fleet grow in size from 32 aircraft in 2012 to 38 during this financial year to October 2013.

The new aircraft will be based at Leeds Bradford airport, where the UK leisure carrier will fly to 12 new destinations for its summer programme.

Last November, Monarch announced plans for the re-equipping of its fleet from 2015 onwards. The UK carrier has invited manufacturers to submit proposals, as Monarch envisages an order for a total of more than 45 replacement and expansion aircraft scheduled for delivery up to 2021.

To fulfil its expansion requirements through to 2015, Monarch Airlines will initially add two A320s followed by two new A321s in May 2013.