Deal Signed In December
A few more of the
"mystery orders" that allowed Airbus to leapfrog Boeing for the 2005
sales title came to light Thursday morning, with the
announcement that Spanish airline Air Europa has firmed up its
order for 10 A350-800s and two further options, for deliveries
between 2010 and 2012.
Airbus representatives tell Aero-News the contract was signed at
the end of December.
In addition to the orders, Air Europa will also lease three
A350s from the leasing company GECAS. The Spanish scheduled airline
became the first to commit to Airbus’ new 250-300 seat long
range airliner in December 2004. Since then, total orders and
commitments for the new aircraft have risen to 172 from 13
As part of its fleet modernization, Air Europa has already added
a leased A340-200, and has signed an agreement to lease a further
four A330-200s -- the first of which will be delivered in March
Air Europa's A350s will be powered by GEnx-1A engines, and will
be fitted with a two class configuration flying up to 253
passengers on ranges up to 8,600 nm. The rapidly growing airline
will use the A350 for its transatlantic flights from Spain to North
and South America.
"This deal brings together the world's most modern aircraft with
one of the most modern airlines in Europe, allowing our company to
continue with its growth strategy," stated Juan Jose Hidalgo,
Executive President of the Globalia Group, which is the parent
company of Air Europa. "We are a pioneer customer for the A350, and
with the A350 we will be pioneers in providing pleasurable
"This contract from our first A350 customer is a special event
for Airbus," said Airbus president Gustav Humbert. "Air Europa was
the first airline to recognize the benefits of an aircraft which is
now being widely ordered."
In addition to leasing an A340, Air Europa also plans to expand
its widebody fleet with the four leased A330s, as well. As the A330
and A350 share a common type rating, A330 pilots can fly the A350
with no additional training.