The first Brazilian Airbus A321neo was delivered on Tuesday. Ordered by Azul Linhas Aereas, the jet was configured with 214 seats and is powered by CFM International’s Leap-1A engines. The PR-YJA-registered airplane named “Super Azul” is the first of 13 units ordered by the company. In addition to Azul, LATAM also operates the A321, but the older version (CEO).
Azul has informed Airway that it intends to start commercial flights with the A321neo between February and March 2020. Prior to that, airline pilots and flight attendants will undergo training to operate the new jet. In a statement, Azul says the new jet will be used on “high density domestic routes”. The company has even requested ANAC (Brazilian civil aviation agency) authorization to fly the A321neo from the airports of Sao Paulo (Guarulhos) and Campinas (Viracopos) to Recife.
“The A321neo is an important milestone for Azul as it will allow the company to increase its seating offer in key markets and become even more efficient. Customers will find in this new model Azul’s well-known in-flight service, which offers free snacks and drinks at no extra cost, in addition to the comfort of the seats and interior space, and an in-flight entertainment system with individual large-screen touch screens, variety of films, series and documentaries,” says John Rodgerson, president of Azul.
Azul’s new A321neo will also soon have live TV on individual monitors with multiple channel options and wi-fi.
Fleet renewal and expansion
Founded in 2008 by David Neeleman, Azul is currently the third largest Brazilian airline and has been putting in place an ambitious expansion plan in recent years. In addition to starting international flights, the company has strengthened its flight network in major cities, as well as maintaining its hubs in Viracopos and Confins. Last month, Azul started flying on the so-called “air bridge”, between São Paulo and Rio and Brazil’s most lucrative route.
To be prepared for demand growth, Azul’s fleet has been reinforced by modern aircraft such as the A320neo (32 jets) and the A330-900neo, whose second unit has just been received.
In September, Azul received the world’s first E195-E2 which is expected to go live in the coming weeks. With 51 aircraft ordered, Embraer’s largest jet will replace the current E195-E1 in the coming years.