Low-cost carrier easyJet is to defer delivery of 22 Airbus aircraft, from financial years 2022-2024 to 2027-28.
Some 15 additional delivery dates between 2022 and 2024 will be moved to “more closely match forecast seasonal requirements”.
The list price discount agreed under the terms of the original 2013 order remains unchanged, easyJet said. However, that agreement uses a price escalation mechanism to reflect market inflation in labour and material costs, and so the future aggregate cash price of the aircraft subject to deferrals will increase.
The changes will also result in a re-phasing of the pre-delivery payment cash flows of the orderbook due to the later dates of delivery.
“This latest amendment to our longstanding agreement with Airbus reflects easyJet’s significant fleet flexibility as well as the benefit of highly attractive aircraft pricing,” said easyJet’s CEO Johan Lundgren.
“In this period of uncertainty, this flexibility is even more valuable, as it will enable us to quickly flex our fleet size in response to customer demand. EasyJet’s unrivalled European network of number one and two positions in primary airports, strong liquidity and flexibility will enable us to capture pent-up demand as customers return to the skies.”
The airline had until 31 December 2020 to decide whether to not take up to seven aircraft scheduled for delivery between 2022 and 2026, but has now agreed with Airbus to reallocate the aircraft to which this option applies to seven aircraft due for delivery in 2025-2026, with the deadline to exercise this option amended to December 2021.
The deferrals mean easyJet will not be taking any deliveries in 2021, with eight scheduled for 2022, seven in 2023 and 18 in 2024. There is no change to the total number of firm A320neo family aircraft outstanding orders.
EasyJet has retained options to increase its deliveries in 2023 to 30 aircraft, reflecting an acceleration of deliveries from future financial years. This option to accelerate is subject to Airbus’ normal commercial and industrial constraints and is exercisable by 31 December 2021.