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Mon, Apr 14, 2008

Aer Lingus Orders Airbus A350-900s

Also Takes More A330-300s To Tide Them Over

Irish flag carrier Aer Lingus became the latest airline to place a firm order for the upcoming Airbus A350 XWB last week. In its biggest ever acquisition for long-haul aircraft, the Irish airline received shareholder approval Friday to purchase six A350-900s, along with six additional A330-300s, confirming its earlier placed contract.

This latest contract brings total firm orders for the A350 XWB Family to 362, from 22 customers, according to Airbus.

"The A350-900 fits well into our ambitious plans to expand existing routes and to open up new ones from our hub in Dublin. The new aircraft will fit in seamlessly with our all-Airbus fleet," said Aer Lingus Chief Executive Dermot Mannion

Aer Lingus' new A350-900s will be deployed on the airline's long-haul network to the United States and on other new long-range routes that are being considered for the future. The additional six new A330-300s will replace some of its earlier A330s, and will provide further growth opportunities in the short term until the first of the A350-900s are delivered.

Both the A350-900s and the A330-300s will be in a two-class configuration, featuring Aer Lingus' new premier class product. The aircraft will join Aer Lingus' all Airbus fleet, currently comprising 32 A320 Family aircraft and nine A330s.

"We are absolutely delighted Aer Lingus has chosen the A350-900 to modernize and expand their Airbus fleet. It will not only bring Aer Lingus unbeatable operating costs, but also offer their customers the cutting edge in passenger comfort," said Airbus Customer COO John Leahy. "The winning economics of the A330 Family is also further demonstrated by this commitment for more A330-300s."

FMI: www.airbus.com, www.aerlingus.com

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