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Air Europa of Spain is the first airline to commit to the A350-800, Airbus’ new 245-seater aircraft only on offer since 10th December, after signing a Memorandum of Understanding for 10 aircraft and 2 further options.
This decision comes after an evaluation of the aircraft’s performance and efficiency with the aircraft due to be delivered between 2010 and 2012. Air Europa has selected GEnx engines from GE Aircraft Engines for the aircraft and will use a configuration of 300 to 330 seats. As part of Air Europa’s plans to renew and expand its current fleet, it has signed a contract to receive one A340-200 leased from Airbus in 2005 and intends to lease two new A330-200s in the spring of 2006.
The A350 is offered as a sister-ship to the A330 and completes the Airbus wide-body Family with two models, the A350-800 and the A350-900, allowing Airbus to satisfy all airlines’ demand in the 245 to 285 seats long range sector. Complementing the existing A330 and A340 product line, the A350-800/900 offers the same external dimensions with a 245 and 285 seat capacity respectively, an increased range up to 8,600 nm (15,900 km), new generation engines, providing some 12 percent lower fuel consumption per trip, new wings and a lighter structure employing an increased amount of composite material. The same Type Rating for pilots will allow Air Europa to optimise efficiency with the A340-200 and the A330-200. The application of the latest state of the art technology in the cabin will provide for best passenger and crew comfort.
“This commitment will without doubt be a key element in the complete renewal of the Air Europa wide-body fleet, making it one of the most modern fleet on the continent and allowing our company to continue with its growth strategy,” stated Juan Jose Hidalgo, Executive President of the Globalia Group and parent company of Air Europa.
Noël Forgeard, Airbus President and Chief Executive Officer of Airbus expressed the company’s pleasure at this announcement. “Only days after the approval from our shareholders to offer this aircraft on the market, Airbus is already in the position to announce its first customer for the A350, demonstrating that the A350 indeed correspond to market needs. Air Europa is a fast growing airline in a market that is very important and we are proud of their confidence. We are sure it will be followed soon by more airlines showing their interest in this latest Airbus product.”
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