easyJet says finalised $2 bn Airbus order

September 18, 2014
easyJet says finalised $2 bn Airbus order/AFP

, LONDRES, September 18- British no frills airline easyJet said on Thursday it had finalised a deal to buy 27 single aisle A320 jets worth $2.05 billion (1.59 billion euros) at list prices from European aircraft maker Airbus.

The group also plans to raise its shareholder dividend payout, it said in a statement before a capital markets day in London.

“easyJet has reached agreement with Airbus to exercise existing purchase rights over 27 current generation A320 aircraft for delivery between 2015 and 2018,” the airline announced.

The low cost carrier added it secured “a very substantial price discount from the list price”.

The order was first announced as an option in 2002.

Last year, the company had confirmed a deal to purchase 135 A320 aircraft including 100 fuel-efficient A320neos, which Airbus plans to start delivering in 2015.

As a result of the latest deal, easyJet said it would have a fleet of 304 aircraft by 2019.

easyJet added on Thursday that it would increase its dividend payout, citing its solid performance.

“In light of the continued strong financial performance of easyJet and confidence in the future, the board has decided to increase the payout ratio for the ordinary dividend from one third of profit after tax to 40 percent of profit after tax from the financial year ending 30 September 2014,” it said.

The airline will outline further details of the dividend, which remains subject to shareholder approval, in its annual results on November 18.

“easyJet’s proven strategy continues to deliver significant returns for shareholders which is why we are increasing our payout ratio for the ordinary dividend to 40 percent,” said easyJet chief executive Carolyn McCall.

“We are bringing new aircraft into the fleet as we continue to see a significant number of new profitable opportunities in our core markets in the near term and in order to maintain our cost advantage.

“The continued strength and execution of our business model provides the platform to deliver sustainable growth and attractive cash returns for shareholders in the years to come.”

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