Air 2000 is to stick with the A320 family, rather than switch to the Boeing 737-800, to renew its short-haul fleet. A deal for eight CFM56-powered aircraft (five A320s and three A321s) has been concluded, involving four orders and four leases.

The airline operates four International Aero Engines V2500-powered A320s and five CFM56-powered A321-200s, alongside its 13 Boeing 757s and three 767-300ERs. The A320s have been in the fleet for seven years, and their leases with Orix will soon expire. The A321s were inherited when Leisure International Airways (LIA) was acquired last year.

"We also evaluated the 737-800, but selected the A320 family," says Air 2000 managing director Ken Smith. "We will replace the four A320s and some of our 757s."

The four leased aircraft will be acquired from International Lease Finance (one A320 and one A321) and CIT Group (two A320s). Deliveries will begin late next year, and conclude in 2002. In the medium term, Smith says that the 767 will continue as its long haul type, with the order for two Airbus A330-200s inherited from the LIA merger "postponed".

Source: Flight International