Air Astana, the flag carrier of Kazakhstan, has signed a firm contract for the purchase of six A320s, as part of its expansion programme on domestic and medium-haul routes. The contract, which is the airline?s first with Airbus, confirms the Memorandum of Understanding which was announced in December 2007.
Air Astana's A320s will feature the brand-new cabin recently introduced on all members of the A320 Family, which provides more comfort and space for passengers in a modern and quiet environment. The aircraft on order will accommodate up to 148 passengers in a two-class cabin layout. The choice of engines has not yet been made. The aircraft will join Air Astana's existing fleet which already includes some A320 Family aircraft, which are currently being operated on its domestic and international network.
Peter Foster, President of Air Astana said, "This order is consistent with our strategic business plan aimed at expanding our fleet, and continuously improving the service to our passengers. The A320, which combines operational efficiency with unprecedented cabin comfort, fits perfectly in with our long-term strategy of providing modern and productive aircraft."
"We are delighted Air Astana has decided to expand its Airbus fleet. Air Astana will benefit from the aircraft's advanced technology and high fuel efficiency, while its passengers will undoubtedly like the new cabin, which has become even more spacious, lighter and quieter. We are happy to contribute to the success of this fast-growing airline with our market leading A320 Family," highlighted Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers John Leahy.
The A320 Family, which includes the A318, A319, A320 and A321, is recognised as the benchmark single-aisle aircraft family. The A320 Family's optimised cabin cross-section - the widest single-aisle fuselage on the market - sets the standards for passenger cabin adaptability in this segment allowing for top-of-the-range comfort with wider seats and aisles. Each aircraft features fly by wire controls and all share unique cockpit commonality across the range. This allows pilots to fly the whole family, and enables the same team of mechanics to maintain the aircraft, generating valuable savings in training and operational efficiency. With proven reliability and extended servicing periods, the A320 Family has the lowest operating costs of any single aisle aircraft. In addition, the A320 Family is an environmentally responsible neighbour, offering the lowest fuel burn, emissions and noise footprints in its class.
With over 6,100 Airbus single-aisle aircraft ordered and more than 3,500 delivered to date, the A320 Family is without doubt the most successful airliner programme. The A320 Family has more than 275 customers and operators to its credit. Twelve carriers from CIS currently operate more than 100 Airbus aircraft.
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