Azul plans to take delivery of its first Airbus A320neo in September, as it continues to expands its fleet beyond its Embraer E-Jet roots.

The Brazilian carrier anticipates six A320neo deliveries under leases with AerCap and GECAS in 2016, says Priscilla Branco, aircraft programmes and international contracts manager at Azul, at the ISTAT Americas conference in Phoenix. The aircraft will have CFM International LEAP-1A engines.

Azul began operations as an all E-Jet operator, including the E190 and E195, but has since expanded its fleet to include ATR 72s and Airbus A330-200s.

The airline will configure the A320neos with 174 seats, significantly more than the 118 seats on its next-largest narrowbody aircraft, the E195.

The A320neo deliveries come even as Azul plans to remove 20 aircraft due to the weak Brazilian economy this year. The 20 aircraft includes two A330-200s, six ATR 72-600s and nine E190s that are being subleased to TAP Portugal and three E190s that will return to lessor Jetscape as their leases expire.

Azul has not modified its A320neo order due to the recession in Brazil to date, says Branco.

The carrier has firm orders for 53 A320neos and 10 Airbus A321neos, with the first of the larger variant due in 2021, Flightglobal’s Fleets Analyzer database shows.

Source: Cirium Dashboard