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MENAFN - AFP - 04/02/2013

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(MENAFN - AFP) US group Air Leasing Corporation ALC has placed a giant order for airliners built by European manufacturer Airbus worth about 9.0 billion (6.64 billion euros) at catalogue prices, Airbus said on Monday.The order is for 20 A350-900 aircraft, five A350-1000, and also converts an option for 14 fuel-efficient A321neo aircraft into an order, Airbus said in a statement.The chief executive of ALC Steven Udvar-Hazy said in a statement that the A350 XWB (Xtra wide body) airliner "is becoming the industry benchmark for efficiency in the long haul segment, and the A320neo family is ideal for airlines operating short to medium-haul missions."He said: "These aircraft will help airlines grow their businesses while simultaneously reducing their operating costs and emissions."He added that his company aimed to offer its customers "the most modern, efficient aircraft on the market, and both the A350 XWB and the NEO fit right in that category."The A350 is due to enter service in the second half of 2014.The aircraft is intended to compete with the Boeing 777 aircraft made by the US Boeing Corporation and with the Boeing Dreamliner 787.Airbus hopes that the new aircraft will enable it to end Boeing's dominance of the market for long-range airliners.The A350 XWB family of aircraft is made mainly of composite materials based on carbon. It is being offered in three version capable of carrying 270-350 passengers.The first version to be put into service will be the A350-900 with 314 seats. It will be followed in 2016 by the A350-800 with 270 seats and in 2017 by the A350-1000 with 350 seats.Airbus said that ALC had also taken an option on an extra five A350-1000 aircraft.The Airbus statement said that the A320neo series of aircraft, due to enter in service in 2015, would deliver "up to 15 percent in fuel savings which is equivalent to 1.4 million litres of fuel - the consumption of 1,000 mid-size cars, saving 3,600 tons of CO2 per aircraft per year."The manufacturer said that the A320 family of aircraft, with more than 9,000 aircraft ordered and more than 5,400 aircraft delivered to more than 380 customers, was the world's "best-selling single-aisle aircraft family".


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