Ural Airlines, one of the leading Russian airlines, has signed a firm contract for the first time with Airbus, for the acquisition of seven A320s. It comes as a confirmation of the Memorandum of Understanding that was announced in June 2007 at the Paris air show. With this deal, Ural Airlines becomes a new Airbus customer.
Ural Airlines' A320s will feature the all-new cabin that recently entered service on other members of the A320 Family, which provides more passenger comfort in a modern and brighter environment. The ordered aircraft will accommodate up to 160 passengers in a two-class configuration. The choice of engines has yet to be made. The airline plans to operate these aircraft on its international and domestic routes. Currently Ural Airlines operates two leased A320s on routes from Ekaterinburg to Moscow, Hurgada, Sharm-El-Sheikh, Munich, Dusseldorf, Prague, Bangkok, Delhi and Tianjin.
"The deal with Airbus became the most important event of the year for us", said Sergej Skuratov, Ural Airlines CEO. "We have chosen A320, because this aircraft meets our demands in terms of operational efficiency, comfort and reliability. The conducted surveys give us the grounds to state that the purchase of Airbus aircraft is a win-win deal for both the airline and the passengers."
"We are proud to welcome Ural Airlines as a new Airbus customer. We are sure that the aircraft's advanced technology and efficiency, as well as its popularity with passengers and crews, and its market-leading environmental characteristics, will greatly contribute to Ural Airlines continued growth," said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers.
With advanced fuel-saving aerodynamic design, including wingtip fences and an all-new lighter cabin helping reduce fuel burn even further, the A320 Family is the most environmentally friendly aircraft type in operation. Centralised maintenance with extended servicing intervals and proven reliability in day-to-day service help to give it the lowest operative costs. In addition, the all new cabin design saves on weight and offers the passenger a quieter and roomier experience as well as significantly larger overhead stowage compartments. The A320 Family, which also includes the A318, A319 and A321, is recognised as the benchmark in the single-aisle aircraft market.
Eleven carriers from Russia and CIS currently operate 62 A320 Family aircraft and 92 more A320 family aircraft are to be delivered in the near future.
With over 5,300 Airbus single-aisle aircraft ordered and more than 3,200 delivered to date, the A320 Family is without doubt the most successful airliner programme. The A320 Family has more than 200 customers and operators to its credit.
Airbus is an EADS company.