Volaris begins accepting delivery of denser A320s

Washington DC
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Mexican low-cost carrier Volaris is taking delivery of new Airbus A320s with a denser seat configuration, as it aims to add more seats to its in-service fleet.

The carrier tells Flightglobal that A320 deliveries from the second half of 2014 onwards will be configured with 179 seats, five seats more than the 174 seats on most of its in-service A320s.

Volaris operates 48 A320 family aircraft, comprising 29 A320s and 19 A319s, Flightglobal's Ascend Fleets database shows. The airline is already operating two A320s with the denser configuration, Volaris chief commercial officer Holger Blankenstein tells Flightglobal. Volaris has 17 current generation A320s on order, Ascend shows.

The airline had said previously it plans to retrofit its existing A320s with additional seats, for 179 seats on each aircraft. Blankenstein says the airline is not able to say when the retrofit will take place, as it is still working with Airbus on the changes.

"Airbus needs to deliver to us certain weight and balance calculations," he tells Flightglobal.

Volaris has said that adding more seats to its A320s will reduce unit costs by about 2.7%. The carrier plans to remove the smaller A319s, which are configured with 144 seats, from its fleet by 2019.

Besides the 17 A320ceos on order, Volaris also plans to acquire a further 46 A320neo family aircraft.