Easyjet has celebrated the delivery of its first Airbus A321neo aircraft at this week’s Farnborough International Air Show.

The 235-seat aircraft is now the largest in the carrier’s fleet, with around 30 per cent more seats than the airline’s 186-seater A320-200s, and around 50 per cent more than Easyjet’s 156-seater A319-100s.

The A321neo is the 308th aircraft to join the Easyjet fleet, and the first of 30 of the next-generation Airbus aircraft on order for the carrier, following the conversion of a previous order for A320neos last year.

The first A321neo will be based at Gatwick, and will serve destinations including Malaga, Alicante and Palma.

Easyjet is gradually replacing its A319 aircraft with the A320, with a total of 40 already having been replaced, and is also reconfiguring 49 A320s which currently have 180 seats, into the 186-seat layout.

The list price for the A321neo is US$129.5m, although the carrier said it had negotiated “a very substantial discount” on this.

Commenting on the delivery, Easyjet’s CEO Johan Lundgren said:

“We are delighted to mark the delivery of our first A321neo aircraft today. This larger aircraft will enable us deliver our strategy of securing and growing our number one positions at Europe’s leading and slot-constrained airports.

“It will also provide Easyjet with the lowest operating costs in the single aisle aircraft category with unit cost savings which are estimated to be up to 9 per cent better than an A320neo and around 21 per cent better than an A319.

“And crucially it will also bring significant environmental and operational benefits which means we will be able to offer more seats and low fares to even more people travelling on Europe’s most popular leisure and business routes, whilst both reducing emissions and noise to mitigate our impact on the communities around the airports we serve.”