Mexico's low-cost carrier VivaAerobus has received its first Airbus A320, an aircraft leased from SMBC, as it prepares for its full fleet cutover from its current fleet of Boeing 737-300s to Airbus A320s.

The aircraft arrived earlier this week at VivaAerobus' Monterrey base, from where it will be put into commercial service after undergoing the mandatory approval process by the Mexican civil aviation authority DGAC.

"With the arrival of the A320 we will see substantial improvements in our operational reliability and costs. This will benefit directly our passengers," says chief executive Juan Carlos Zuazua.

He also explains to Flightglobal that his airline will receive during 2014 a total of five A320s from different lessors, all less than eight years old and with lease terms shorter than five years.

"The objective of this early introduction of the A320 is a smooth transition to a 100% Airbus fleet in mid-2016, which is part of our ultra-low-cost business model", Zuazua says.

VivaAerobus has 12 current generation A320s and 40 A320neos on order. According to Zuazua, service entry of the first new A320 is confirmed for the third quarter of 2015 and deliveries of the remaining aircraft will take place until 2021. Additionally, it holds 40 options for A320neos.

Despite withdrawing from its previously announced IPO last week "due to unstable market conditions", VivaAerobus is preparing itself for explosive growth over the next years. As part of its organisational overhaul, it appointed recently industry veterans Vincent Hodder and Robert Zoller as its chief commercial and chief operating officers, respectively.

Source: Cirium Dashboard