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EgyptAir Sells Its Airbus A220 Fleet

EgyptAir is selling its entire fleet of 12 Airbus A220-300 aircraft to the aircraft leasing company Azorra. As EgyptAir holds full ownership of these aircraft, the sale is expected to significantly augment its financial reserves.

The airline’s Airbus A220-300 fleet is notably modern, with ch-aviation statistics indicating an average age of 4.1 years for these aircraft. The latest delivery from Airbus occurred in September 2020, exactly one year after the delivery of the first aircraft of this model to EgyptAir.

EgyptAir Sells Its Airbus A220 Fleet
Photo by: RAPHAEL JOLICOEUR via AIRBUS

A report from Cirium highlights that EgyptAir’s sale of its A220 fleet is a strategic move in its broader fleet revitalization plan, aiming to make way for the acquisition of new Airbus widebody models. Azorra’s CEO, John Evans, credited the company’s solid relationships with Airbus and Pratt & Whitney, providers of the PW1500G engines exclusive to the A220 series, as pivotal in completing the deal.

Evans emphasized the youthful age and excellent maintenance of the aircraft, along with their engines which have been recently overhauled and updated by the manufacturer. He also pointed out the high market demand for these aircraft, which enhances their appeal to Azorra’s expanding clientele of airline operators. Azorra currently oversees a portfolio of 95 aircraft, including six Airbus A220-300s.

EgyptAir Sells Its Airbus A220 Fleet
Photo by Airbus

In January 2022, Azorra placed an order for 22 Airbus A220s, comprising 20 A220-300 models and two Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ) 220s, with Evans noting the A220’s perfect fit for Azorra’s burgeoning collection and the company’s anticipation to allocate these planes to airlines in the foreseeable future. According to Airbus’s Orders & Deliveries records, no A220 deliveries have occurred up to December 31, 2023.

Between September 2019 and September 2020, EgyptAir received delivery of all 12 of its Airbus A220-300 aircraft from the manufacturer. In the following period, the airline progressively decreased the number of one-way flights planned for these A220-300s. Cirium, an aviation analytics firm, reports that December 2021 saw the airline schedule 1,149 flights with this aircraft type, marking its peak activity month for the A220-300 since receiving its first unit.

Nonetheless, EgyptAir has since gradually reduced its flight operations with this model. In the months of December 2023, January 2024, and February 2024, the airline planned 484, 502, and 400 flights, respectively, using the A220-300. From April 2024 to September 2024, the aircraft is slated for fewer than 100 flights.

A220 Engine Issues

EgyptAir Sells Its Airbus A220 Fleet
Photo by Airbus

Regarding engine issues, the Airbus A220-300, equipped with the Pratt & Whitney PW1500G engine, has avoided the significant problems seen with the PW1100G engine that led numerous carriers of the Airbus A320neo family to ground planes. However, operators of the A220-300, including EgyptAir, have not been entirely free from challenges, facing concerns over engine availability and maintenance delays. airBaltic, in particular, has been vocal about its struggles with these engine-related issues, highlighting a broader concern among operators of this aircraft type.

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