Latin American airline group Avianca has signed a memorandum of understanding for 100 Airbus A320neos, choosing to remain with the A320 family despite efforts from Boeing to switch the airline to 737s.
“After a thorough technical evaluation, we selected the A320neo family for its excellent fuel efficiency, reliability and comfort,” says Avianca chief executive Fabio Villegas. “These qualities are essential to further our growth and fleet modernisation strategy and improve our passenger experience.”
The latest order is Avianca's second for the A320neo. It ordered 51 A320 family aircraft, including 33 A320neos, in 2012. Avianca holds orders for almost 200 Airbus aircraft, and has almost 130 in operation. Airbus does not state if Avianca has made an engine selection for the latest order, but Avianca had previously picked the CFM International Leap-1A for its first A320neo order.
Villegas told Flightglobal in November that Avianca is planning an order for a "significant number" of narrowbodies, and is considering both the A320neo and 737 Max.
“Airbus is privileged to work with Avianca on this important agreement,” says John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer, customers. “We are proud that Avianca will rely on the A320neo, its unbeatable productivity and fuel efficiency to renew its fleet."
Villegas had said Avianca plans to use the new narrowbodies for both replacement and growth. In November 2014, Boeing had expressed confidence that it could convert Avianca to the 737 Max.
"It's not a done deal – we’re in the middle of the conversations. But I'm bullish enough to be able to talk to you about the fact that we have a good chance there," said Boeing's vice-president of sales for Latin America, Africa and the Caribbean Van Rex Gallard then.
Airbus has won 245 firm orders for the A320neo family from seven airlines in Latin America, says the airframer.