North African airline Tunisair has signed a letter of acceptance of the Airbus proposal for the acquisition of three A350-800s, three A330-200s and ten A320s, as part of an important fleet development plan that will modernise and expand the fleet of this growing airline. With this acquisition, Tunisair is the third African airline to order the all-new A350 XWB. Tunisair currently already has 12 A320s, four A319s of which two with extended range capability and three A300-600s in operation.
The all-new, eco-efficient A350s will provide the right aircraft at the right time for the long-term development plans of Tunisair for long haul routes to North America and Asia. Meanwhile, the A330s will allow the airline to modernize its wide-body fleet and seamlessly enter the long haul market with new routes to North America in the near future with the most modern and cost efficient aircraft in the market today. Furthermore, the A320s will allow Tunisair to renew and expand its regional operations with more efficient and cost effective aircraft complementing its current fleet.
"This acquisition is part of a major fleet development that will allow Tunisair to prepare for the future and take up the market opportunities that exist for our airline," said Mr. Chettaoui, President and CEO of Tunisair group. "The A330s and later on the A350 will really complement our A320 fleet which is already performing extremely well. This acquisition will provide Tunisair with the most modern, efficient and comfortable aircraft that perfectly respond to our needs in terms of range, passenger capacity and operational costs", he continued.
"We are very proud of this agreement with Tunisair, which shows the value and strength of the Airbus Family concept, bringing commonality in the fleet and allowing for important cost savings and fleet efficiency," said Fabrice Brégier, Chief Operating Officer of Airbus. The combined acquisition of A320s, A330s and A350s will contribute to the strategic growth plans of Tunisair and we are very happy to be supporting the airline in this development and further strengthen the close ties that we have developed over the years," he added.
The longstanding relationship started in 1980, when Tunisair placed its first order for an Airbus A300B4. It has built up its Airbus fleet from then onwards, with the first A320 order placed in 1988, one of the first orders for Africa. In another pioneering move, with the order in 2006 for the A319 Extended-Range, Tunisair was the first airline to start operating this aircraft type in Africa, benefiting from Airbus? continuous efforts for innovation and technological advancements.
The A350 XWB (Xtra Wide-Body) Family is Airbus' response to widespread market demand for a series of highly efficient medium-capacity long-range wide-body aircraft. With a range of up to 8,300 nm / 15,400 km, it is available in three basic passenger versions: the A350-800 accommodating 270 passengers, the A350-900 seating 314, and the A350-1000 for 350 passengers. The A350 has the widest fuselage in its category, offering unprecedented levels of comfort, the lowest operating costs and lowest seat mile cost of any aircraft in this market segment. Powered by two new generation Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines delivering each up to 92,000 lbs of thrust, the A350 XWB Family is designed to confront the challenges of high fuel prices, rising passenger expectations, and environmental concerns.
With a true wide-body fuselage allowing very high comfort standards, the A330-200 is able to accommodate seat and class configurations to suit the diverse customer requirements. It has a range of up to 6,750 nm / 12,500 km with a full passenger load. It also has the excellent operational flexibility necessary to serve a wide range of route structures, providing operators with very low operating cost per seat. Its proven record of economy and superior passenger comfort provides operators with a significant competitive advantage in the market today.
The A320 Family, which includes the A318, A319, A320 and A321, is recognized as the benchmark single-aisle aircraft family. Each aircraft features fly by wire controls and all share a unique cockpit and operational commonality across the range. Over 6,100 Airbus A320 Family aircraft have been sold and 3,400 delivered to more than 270 customers and operators worldwide, making it the worlds best selling commercial jetliner ever.
Airbus is an EADS Company.