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28 July 2010
28. July 2010 Commercial Aircraft

Airbus strengthens its order book and expands the customer base in the Americas


Airbus’ strong performance in North and Latin America has been underscored by a wave of orders and commitments announced during July, which includes agreements with both new and existing customers.

A new wave of orders announced during the past two weeks have reinforced Airbus’ strength in the Americas marketplace, with bookings received from existing and new customers.

TAM Airlines, which is Airbus’ biggest customer in the Southern Hemisphere and Brazil’s largest airline, has firmed up its booking for 20 A320 Family aircraft and five A350-900s – a deal that initially was announced as a memorandum of understanding in June.

With TAM’s new order, 500-plus Airbus aircraft have been sold in the Latin America region.  Currently, more than 370 Airbus jetliners are flying with 23 Latin American airline customers and operators, representing over 40 percent of the fleet in service.

Another key booking was LAN Airlines’ memorandum of understanding for 50 new Airbus A320 Family jetliners – announced during last week’s Farnborough International Airshow – which, when converted to a firm order, will be the largest single airline booking for Airbus in Latin America.

For the North American marketplace, two leasing companies have placed strategic orders with Airbus for its single-aisle product line, both of which were announced at the Farnborough Airshow. 

With Air Lease Corporation’s (ALC) opening-day Farnborough order for 51 A320 Family jetliners, Airbus became the first major supplier for this newly-formed leasing company, which is based in California.  ALC’s Chairman and CEO Steven F. Udvar-Hazy previously had co-founded the U.S.-based International Lease Finance Corporation, which has been a major Airbus customer for the past three decades. 

Also at the Farnborough event, Airbus announced that GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) – the commercial aircraft leasing and financing arm of General Electric – has signed a firm order for 60 additional A320 Family aircraft. This new agreement brings the total number of A320 Family jetliners ordered by GECAS to 327, and the backlog of aircraft to be delivered to 99.

In other Farnborough Airshow business, Virgin America signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding for 40 Airbus A320 Family, with options for an additional 20.  With this booking, Virgin America’s A320 Family fleet is projected to grow from its current 28 aircraft to 90 by 2016.

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