Airbus bags order for 50 planes

November 15th, 2011 - 7:48 am ICT by IANS  

Dubai, Nov 15 (IANS) The Airbus has bagged a contract to supply 50 A320neo aircraft to the Kuwait-based Alafco finance company on the second day of the Dubai Airshow.

Alafco (Aviation Lease and Finance Company) also plans to buy 30 more aircraft to be finalized by the end of this year, the Airbus said in a statement Monday.

The contract is an increase of the initial agreement made this summer at the Paris Le Bourget Airshow for 30 aircraft, Xinhua reported.

“The A320neo is the market’s favorite single-aisle aircraft family,” said Ahmed Al Zabin, Alafco chairman.

“The significant fuel burn savings it offers, combined with the operational reliability and cost effectiveness of the A320 Family, make it an absolute ‘must have’ in our portfolio to meet the demand and the requirements of our customers.”

The A320neo is a new engine option for the A320 Family entering into service from 2015. It uses 15 percent less fuel than older models of the single-aisle A320.

This reduction in fuel burn is equivalent to 1.4 million litres of fuel — the consumption of 1,000 mid size cars.

Airbus’ deals followed an order of 50 Boeing 777-ERs worth $18 billion from Dubai airline Emirates Sunday when the biannual airshow opened. It was the largest dollar-value order in the Chicago plane producer’s history.

Boeing also won a new regional customer, Oman Air, for its 787 aircraft Monday. Oman Air signed an order for six Boeing 787-8s, completing an arrangement with Boeing and Alafco to transfer existing orders for the six Dreamliners from Alafco to Oman Air.

“Our decision to order the 787-8 is part of Oman Air’s long- term growth strategy to expand and modernize our fleet with newer, more fuel-efficient airplanes,” said Oman Air CEO Peter Hill.

The huge orders snapped by the two major aircraft manufacturers are consolidating the growing importance of the Middle East region across the aerospace industry despite the global economic downturn.

The strong growth will result in the almost trebling of the region’s fleet from over 800 aircraft today to some 2,260 by 2030.

The main drivers of the continued strong demand for new aircraft include fleet expansion and replacement, greater urbanization, an increasing number of mega cities and the overall ongoing expansion of the region as a geographical hub and tourist destination, the forecast said.

The five-day Dubai Airshow, on its 12th edition since 1987, will continue till Thursday.

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