News in brief:
More A320neos for IAG – destination unknown
Whilst IAG’s order for 50 – 150 Boeing 737MAX aircraft got a lot of coverage earlier this year, the British Airways / Iberia / Aer Lingus parent has also quietly been topping up its order book for Airbus narrow body aircraft.
IAG will need significantly more single-aisle planes over the coming years. British Airways alone has 115 older A319s, A320s and A321s that will need replacing, but only firm orders for a grand total of six. Add in Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling’s fleet replacements plans and you are looking at a lot of aircraft.
Whilst it’s still not clear where the 737MAX planes will end up – although Vueling is the logical choice – it looks like IAG is happy to continue taking aircraft from Airbus. The group has now confirmed an order for 37 additional A320neos, adding to the 22 it confirmed earlier this year.
Which airline these aircraft head to is unclear, although I would imagine a fair portion would go to British Airways. The average age of its older A319, A320 and A321 fleet lies between 16 and 20 years. IAG now uses a standard configuration for its short haul aircraft so they can be allocated anywhere in the group with minimal disruption.
Aegean returns to Birmingham
Greek airline Aegean will return to Birmingham Airport next Spring with its first service to the city in five years.
There will be two flights per week (Tuesday and Friday) to Athens, departing Birmingham at 10:35am and arriving in Athens at 4:10pm. The return flight departs Athens at 7:55am and lands in Birmingham at 9:45am. The first service will be on 28th March 2023, the first day of the Summer 2023 schedule.
This route was originally supposed to launch in Summer 2020, although covid scuppered those plans. Aegean will compete with Jet2, which operates flights to Athens on Thursdays and Sundays.
Aegean is a member of Star Alliance if you have any miles to redeem in any member scheme. The airline has a well regarded business class cabin.