Air Canada snubbed US plane manufacturer Boeing and ordered 26 aircraft from EU rival Airbus, the company announced today.
The airline announced it was acquiring 26 extra-long range versions of Airbus A321neo, which will be used on North American as well as several transatlantic routes.
Air Canada will lease 20 planes from lessors such as Air Lease Corporation and AerCap, purchasing six directly from Airbus.
Beginning in the first quarter of 2024, Air Canada’s orders will continue until 2027, with the possibility of increasing the order book by 14 between 2027 and 20230.
“Air Canada is committed to further strengthen its market-leading position, especially through investments in new technology,” said chief executive Michael Rousseau.
“The acquisition of the state-of-the-art Airbus A321XLR is an important element of this strategy and will drive our core priorities of elevating the customer experience, advancing our environmental goals, network expansion and increasing our overall cost efficiency.
According to Airbus International’s chief commercial officer Christian Scherer, the A321neo’s performance will help the Canadian carrier to reach net carbon neutrality by 2050.
Commenting on the news, Francesco Ragni, aviation professor at Buckinghamshire New University said: “It’s a great win for Airbus, in the same week as Boeing suffers another tragic accident.
“The purchase of A321XR might sounds surprising, as Air Canada is going to replace the A321 with B737Max, but I think it has to do more with the specific features of this new aircraft.”
Boeing’s share fell yesterday after a 737 operated by China Eastern Airlines crashed in southern China, killing all 132 people aboard, City A.M. reported.
Compared to Friday’s closure, the company’s stocks went down 8 per cent in pre-market trading but recovered slightly after the bell.