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TAP Portugal has signed a firm contract for 12 A350XWBs, plus three options, and a letter of intent for an additional eight A320 Family aircraft.
The Lisbon based airline herewith converts its initial order for the A350, placed in December 2005, into the new A350XWB, and has, simultaneously, increased the number of aircraft ordered, from 10 to 12. At the same time TAP is taking delivery of its first directly owned A330-200.
In announcing the transaction, TAP’s Chief Executive Officer, Fernando Pinto, said: “”We have thoroughly re-evaluated our initial A350 order and the result clearly demonstrated that the XWB is the winner in all areas. This aircraft will meet TAP’s requirements to cater for passenger traffic growth across the Atlantic and our plans to serve further destinations. The A350XWB offers outstanding passenger comfort thanks to its wider cabin, and unmatched operating costs, fuel consumption and environmental friendliness. The further additional A320s is a natural choice for our expansion plans, as the A320s perfectly fit our need for efficient single aisle aircraft offering the best possible comfort for our passengers”.
“We are particularly honoured by this renewed mark of confidence from TAP, one of Europe’s major airlines. This order is also a further endorsement of the new A350XWB programme. “” Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers, John Leahy said.” I am confident the A350XWB will deliver on its promises and that it will be the right aircraft to accompany TAP’s future growth strategy, together with our market leading A320 Family aircraft. “”
TAP currently operates a fleet of 51 Airbus aircraft, including 17 A319s, 15 A320s, three A321s, four A340-300s, five A310-300s and seven A330-200s, and is Airbus’ largest customer in Portugal. The A350XWBs will in time replace the A340-300 and A330-200 fleet, and support TAP’s network expansion.
The A350XWB (extra wide-body) is Airbus’ response to market demand for a medium capacity long range wide-body family available in three basic passenger versions, the A350-800 which can fly 270 passengers, the A350-900 seating 314, and the A350-1000 which is designed for 350.
With TAP’s order, total firm orders for the A350 XWB programme stand at 288 aircraft.
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