UK charter operator Titan Airways is adding the first Airbus A320 to its fleet May 1. The new aircraft may herald the start of a move away from Boeing products, commercial director Alastair Kiernan said. The airline is acquiring the 7-year-old A320-200 on a five-year lease from CIT Aerospace. It was previously with South American airline Taca.
The London Stansted-based charter airline currently operates a 12-strong fleet, comprising three Boeing 737-300QCs, one 737-300F, two BAe 146-200QCs, one BAe Avro RJ100, three 757-200s, a 767-300ER and a six-seat Cessna Citation.
While Titan had no problem with Boeing’s products, Kiernan said, “We felt it was time for a change.” Although taking on a new type would lead to higher maintenance costs in the short term, commonalities in the A320 family held some attractions.
“The idea is that, looking ahead, the Airbus A318, 319, 320 and 321 all have the same components so holding a stock of spare parts, in theory, becomes cheaper because we do not have to hold so many,” he said.
Training costs would also drop because only one simulator would be required.
“It is also providing like-for-like to many of the sub-charter airlines that we fly for regularly, so their passengers have a concept of flying in a similar-type [aircraft].”
The new Airbus will be delivered with a refitted 168-seat interior offering a minimum 31-in. pitch. The front half of the cabin will have variable-geometry seats that convert from six-abreast to four-abreast layout with drop-down central tables.