Following US Airways' successful emergence from bankruptcy protection (March 31, 2003) and months of coordination between customer and manufacturer, Airbus has worked with the airline to complete a restructuring plan to assist the Arlington, Virginia carrier in best accommodating the current industry environment. The resulting agreement includes replacing a prior order with a new order for 10 Airbus A330-200 aircraft. The airline currently flies a fleet of nine A330-300s ? this new contract will more than double the size of the airline?s Airbus widebody fleet. This new firm order replaces previous contracts for one A330-300, three A319s and 15 A320s. US Airways also has an additional 13 A321s and six A320s on firm order. Deliveries of the now 29 Airbus aircraft on backlog (see specifics below) will begin in 2007 and run through 2009.
"As we anticipated, US Airways emerged from bankruptcy stronger than ever and we are pleased to be a partner in their evolution," said Noël Forgeard, Airbus President and Chief Executive Officer. "The airline is rightfully very focused on maximizing its cost-effectiveness and this is reinforced by their decision to build their widebody fleet with the A330 Family."
US Airways took delivery of its first Airbus aircraft, an A320, in October of 1998. Since that time, the airline has built one of the largest A320 Family fleets in the world. US Airways was the first airline in the United States to operate an Airbus A330, which has become the flagship of its international service ? flying between the eastern U.S. and western Europe. The combination of the A330-200 and A330-300 within the US Airways fleet will allow the airline great flexibility in satisfying its varying needs for range and capacity on those routes.
The successful A330/A340 Family is the preferred medium- to long-range aircraft among airlines around the world. The A330/A340 Family has booked more than 750 total orders from over 60 customers to date.