Ivorian national airline, Air Cote d’Ivoire, has signed a purchase agreement with one of the world’s leading aircraft manufacturer, Airbus Group, for the supply of two A320neo and two A320 aircraft.
A statement from the France-based Airbus said that the order by Air Cote d’Ivoire makes it the first African airline to order the A320neo. The A320neo family is a new series of aircraft developed by Airbus, with the suffix “neo” meaning “new engine option”, with 20 per cent fuel savings, two tonnes more payload, up to 500 nautical miles additional range, lower operating costs and reductions in engine noise and emissions.
Airbus said that Air Cote d’Ivoire’s first purchase agreement also makes the airline a new customer, noting that the Ivorian national carrier selected the A320 family for its wider cabin, low operating costs and excellent fuel efficiency.
The statement quoted Air Cote d’Ivoire Chairman, Gen. Abdoulaye Coulibaly, as saying: “With these new aircraft we will position Air Cote d’Ivoire as a flagship airline in the West African region by offering its passengers the best on-board services.”
He also said that “Air Cote d’Ivoire will also improve its punctuality and reliability, thanks to these latest-generation Airbus aircraft.”
On his part, Mr. John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer, said: “This new order will strengthen the airline’s network that reaches today 23 international routes throughout West and Central Africa and five domestic destinations in Cote d’Ivoire.”
Air Cote d’Ivoire currently operates five Airbus aircraft on lease, comprising four A319s and one A320.