Egyptair has become the first African carrier to operate the A321 neo aircraft. It took possession of it from the Airbus Delivery Centre in Hamburg earlier this week.

The two-class configuration has 16 business class seats and 166 economy class seats, and will increase the airline’s single aisle capacity to the Middle East, Africa and Europe. The aircraft is on lease from AerCap.

The A321 neo is the largest-fuselage member of Airbus’ single-aisle A320 family and brings a 20 per cent reduction in fuel consumption and emissions per seat compared with previous generation competing aircraft.

Egyptair’s Airbus fleet comprises of 12 A220s, eight A320 neos, two A320 ceos, four A330-200 and four A330-300s.

The delivery flight from Hamburg to Cairo was powered by 34 per cent Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) blend. Compared to regular jet fuel, SAF results in an up to 80 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions across the entire SAF lifecycle.

Currently, all Airbus commercial aircraft are capable of flying with up to 50 per cent SAF blend mixed with kerosene and are targeted to be capable for 100 per cent SAF use in flight by the end of this decade.

In a major boost to Airbus this year, Air India announced plans last month to order 250 Airbus aircraft. The commitment includes 140 A320 neo and 70 A321 neo single-aisle aircraft as well as 34 A350-1000 and six A350-900 wide-body jets. Deliveries to Air India are set to commence with the first A350-900 scheduled to arrive in India later this year.;