EasyJet to purchase up to 257 aircraft from Airbus

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British airline easyJet said it would buy up to 257 Airbus jets as it plots its growth beyond 2028 while restoring its dividend and aiming to more than double profits.

EasyJet said the time was right to lay out a long-term growth plan based on bigger and more fuel-efficient planes.

EasyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren said the proposed deal with Airbus, subject to shareholder approval, would add 157 aircraft plus the option for 100 more A321neo jets. The airline currently operates about 330 aircraft and will be retiring some older planes.

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EasyJet’s ambitions come despite heightened geopolitical instability following attacks by Palestinian militant group Hamas in Israel, which has lead to flight cancellations, and higher oil prices, plus worries over consumer sentiment in Europe.

Fleet expansion will enable the company to sell more seats on routes from congested European airports like London Gatwick and Amsterdam, where there are few slots available to add more flights.

Lundgren said by 2034, easyJet’s average number of seats per flight would rise to the low 200s from 179.

EasyJet, which only flies Airbus planes, said the terms of the deal with Airbus were attractive, without giving details.

It already has a separate order for 163 planes due up to 2028.

With information from Reuters