easyJet has come a long way since its inception.
easyJet currently has 32 Airbus A32N aircraft in service with another 115 on order as of June 16th 2019.
In 1995 the airline started flying out of London Luton to Edinburgh and Glasgow with two Boeing 737-200A leased from GB Airways (an airline it would buy out in 2007), and a year later the airline would introduce more modern Boeing 737-300 and launch its first international route to Amsterdam, and by 2000 it would start a second base in Liverpool. A Swiss-franchise would be added giving it a presence in Geneva and Basel.
Come 2003, the airline had started its first services from London Gatwick, which would become its biggest base eventually, and the airline had merged with GoFly, as well as having added the Boeing 737-700 as part of a brand new order from Boeing and was the main attraction for a fly-off the wall series on ITV. But around this time, the airline was aiming for massive expansion- the airline had also shifted from Seattle to Toulouse for its next fleet order. The Airbus A319 was introduced and would become the mainstay of the airline’s fleet. The Airbus A320-ceo would join in 2008 and the Boeing 737-300/-700 fleets retired in 2007 and 2011 respectively.
Boarding easyJet Airbus A320-NEO, G-UZHF in Zurich.
During the 2010s, Airbus announced and launched the Airbus A320-NEO, an upgraded variant of their best selling short haul airliner. easyJet by now had over 200 Airbus A319/A320 aircraft so it became obvious come 2015 that they would order a large number of these planes. Their 156 strong A319 fleet was approaching their retirement age, so the Airbus A320-NEO would become their main replacement, complementing the still fairly newer Airbus A320-ceo for a number of years to come.
Despite being the back bone of the fleet from the mid-2000s, the Airbus A319 is slowly being numbered at easyJet as they bow out in favour of the larger and updated family aircraft. 156 aircraft have operated for easyJet making it the largest European operator of the A319. The airlines A319 order in 2003 marked a shift from Boeing’s 737-300/700 which the airline built its initial operations around.
G-UZHA was the first Airbus A320-NEO to be delivered to easyJet and their London Luton base in 2016. As far as June 2019, easyJet’s entire “NEO” fleet of Airbus A320/A321-NEO are on the UK-registrar and non have been assigned to easyJet Switzerland or easyJet Europe.
I had the chance to fly on an Airbus A320-NEO in May 2019, having flown two examples (GUZHA/HF) between London Luton and Zurich. Having flown on the Airbus A319 for all but one of my previous flights with easyJet since August 2015, this was an exciting experience to try out!
Remote stand boards are common practice for easyJet, but some airports they do use jet-ways.
The Airbus A320-NEO I flew from Zurich to Luton with was G-UZHF, delivered in April 2018 to easyJet brand new. Making the plane 13 months old at the time I flew it.
For easyJet operations at Zurich, you receive an open board via a bus gate. A common practice at low cost airlines in the UK and Europe. Whilst easyJet uses jet bridges at some airports, they don’t here, but I wasn’t complaining- it was a beautiful day and I personally love an open board.
Airbus A320-NEO/A320-CEO cabin (above) with the slim-line seats, with the out going “classic” Boeing 737/Airbus A319 cabin style (bellow) often seen on the UK Documentary “Airline (UK)”.
The cabin of the plane was featuring the brand new easyJet cabin with the black/orange interior with slim-line seating. Compare to the former out-going cabin (used on the Boeing 737/Airbus A319) the seat was not as comfortable, but the seat pitch for my legs was feeling an improvement.
The Airbus A320-NEO engine/wing view on G-UZHF (above) compare to a similar engine/wing view on the Airbus A319/A320-ceo (bellow)
Being seated by the engine, during the flight I could definitely notice the engine of the NEO being a lot quieter compare to the older Airbus A319.
Like most airlines (flag carrier and low cost alike) in Europe, easyJet offers a range of Buy on Board.
For a service review, the in flight bistro offered by easyJet still maintained the usual “Meal Deal” offered by most major EU budget airlines. The easyJet offering was £9 for a sandwich or main item with a snack (chocolate, biscuits or crisps) and a soft or hot drink. An extra £2 was offered to upgrade to a beer, wine or cider beverage. I went with an interesting new item offered by easyJet: a bright pink falafel and houmous wrap. I added an extra spirit for my cola drink for only £4.50p extra. Bringing my four item lunch to £11.50p
I enjoyed this “unique” meal experience from easyJet, let us know what you think of it!
The flight deck of the Airbus A320-neo is exactly identical to the Airbus A320-ceo family to reduce training costs and provide flexibility to airline staff. Despite little changes to the 30 year design, the A320 family has one futuristic flight deck!
G-UZHF flight deck from the perspective of a First Officer, taken on the ground at London Luton.
My final thoughts on the easyJet A320-neo?
Definitely a comfortable ride. easyJet service is cheap and cheerful which ever route you end up flying. While the cabin is basic, I would happily fly in this cabin for a short haul flight up to 3 1/2 hours. The A32N feels more quieter and comfortable than its “CEO” counterparts.
So if I had to rate this out of 10- It would be a solid 7 from me!
If you have any experiences on the easyJet A320-neo, or the airlines older aircraft (especially the retired B737 fleet), let us know in the comments your thoughts of them!
The way of the future? For easyJet the Airbus A320N & A321N (seen here at London Gatwick) sure is!