Jetstar has provided the first glimpse inside the cabin of its sleek new Airbus A321neo aircraft, which we’ll be flying on domestic routes when they arrive next year.
The budget airline said the new aircraft — which would be the most energy-efficient model in its fleet — was designed to burn less fuel and ultimately keep the cost of airfares low.
Jetstar will receive 18 A321neos in August 2020. They’ll mostly be used on domestic routes but eventually some international services, like Sydney to Bali.
The single-aisle plane will seat 232 passengers in a single class cabin that’s been designed for “greater comfort”, the airline said today.
The cabins feature ergonomic Recaro seats with tapered arm rests to maximise space and extra-large overhead bins with 40 per cent more room for bags.
Colour LED lighting will help passengers adjust to different stages of the flight.
And in a really clever move, the backs of seats will have flip-down cradles to hold smartphones and tablets, and digital streaming will let passengers use Jetstar’s in-flight entertainment on their own devices, which can be charged with USB ports.
Jetstar will be the first airline in Australia and the Pacific to fly the NEOs, as the planes are known.
“Combining a smaller environmental footprint together with wider, ergonomic seats, greater stowage and in-flight streaming for personal devices, we think customers are going to love them,” Jetstar Group chief executive Gareth Evans said today.
“We are passionate about bringing more low fares to more people, and our new NEOs give us some exciting new destination options which we will be reviewing over the next 12 months.
“The arrival of our NEOs will also add capacity on popular routes with the potential to free up some Boeing 787 flying for use on other, longer international leisure routes.”
PLANES TO KEEP AIRFARES AFFORDABLE
Longer-range, more fuel-efficient and quieter than the previous generation of A321s, the NEOs will also use lightweight trolley carts and freight containers to keep its overall weight — and therefore fuel burn — low.
They’ll even be painted in a way to reduce weight, while CFM LEAP engines will reduce fuel burn by about 15 per cent and aircraft noise footprint by 50 per cent.
“Importantly, our A321 LR burns significantly less fuel than previous generation aircraft, and together with advanced weather detection technology, our pilots are able to plot smoother and more fuel-efficient flight paths,” Mr Evans said.
“We expect our NEOs to save 1.2 million kilograms of fuel per year compared with our current generation aircraft. That’s a reduction of almost 4000 tonnes of emissions or removing 1500 cars from the road each year.
“To further minimise fuel burn, our NEOs will be painted using a new weight-saving technique and will operate with lightweight galley carts and freight containers, removing 170kg from each flight.
“These technologies and innovations are part of our commitment to further reduce the impact of our flying.”
Airlines have previously warned that when the cost of jet fuel rises, so too can the price of airfares.
“Oil is our second-largest expense. So when it increases, the cost of air travel increases,”
American Airlines chief executive officer Doug Parker said about the rising cost of fuel last year.
“I would expect you would see higher fares to consumers over time.”
Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon echoed that warning during last year’s meeting of the International Air Transport Association in Sydney.
“At this point with rising fuel, you control costs, raise prices and you may have some fall off in demand and reduce capacity,” Mr Luxon told Reuters at the time.
Jetstar’s 18 NEOs, due for delivery in August, are part of an order of 109 NEOs by the Qantas Group and should arrive between August 2020 and mid-2022.
JETSTAR’s A321NEO BY THE NUMBERS
Number of planes on order: 18
Seats: 232 economy
Seat size: 46.2cm wide and pitch of 73.7cm
Maximum takeoff weight: 97,000kg
Wing span: 35.8m
Overall length: 44.51m
Vertical fin height: 11.76m
Cabin width: 3.95m
Wing area: 122.6sq m
Average cruise speed: Mach 0.79
Cruise altitude 29,000 to 39,000 feet (8839 to 11,887m)
Range with full payload: 5400km
Maximum thrust: 143.05kN
Engines: Two CFM LEAP 1A engines