By The Associated Press
Published: 20 June 2011
LE BOURGET, France — GE Capital Aviation Services has ordered 60 A320neo jets, a version of the workhorse jet revamped to be more fuel efficient, Airbus said Monday.
The European planemaker announced the deal at the Paris Air Show, where the search for a cheaper and cleaner way to fly is emerging as a major theme.
The deal would be worth about $5.5 billion at list prices, though buyers often strike discounts.
With airlines squeezed by skyrocketing fuel prices, Airbus has booked 390 orders and commitments for the A320neo since its commercial launch last December, even though the plane won’t be available until 2015.
Airbus also announced an order for four of its A330-300 aircraft from Saudi Arabian airlines. The wide-bodied, twin-engined medium to long range A330-300 has a list price of €223 million ($318 million). The Saudi airline already has 8 of the 330-300s in service.
Swedish airline group SAS ordered another 30 of Airbus’ A320neo aircraft for around 18 billion kronor ($2.8 billion) at list prices as part of an effort to renew its fleet.
SAS’s order includes an option to buy an additional 11 airplanes.
Delivery of the aircraft will start in the second half of 2016 and should be completed during 2019.
The acquisition is part of SAS’s move to concentrate its short-and medium distance fleet into two types of aircraft: Airbus A320 and Boeing’s 737NG.