By Andrew Bushe
DUBLIN – Aer Lingus has signed a contract to acquire six French A320 narrow-body Airbuses and one long-range A330-200.
The A330-200 will join five other aircraft of that type already used by Aer Lingus on its trans-Atlantic routes.
The total value of the aircraft is about $700 million, but the company expects significant discounts.
The French Airbus company has now received about 1,700 firm orders for aircraft in the A320 family, almost 800 of which have already been delivered to 56 customers.
In March, Ryanair, the no-frills, low-cost airline, announced its plans for a huge expansion of its aircraft fleet and entered into a contract with the American Boeing company worth more than $2
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billion for up to 45 new planes.
The contract involves 25 firm orders for Boeing 737-800 (189-seat), and options for 20 others. Ryanair already operates 20 737-200s.
The 25 “firm” aircraft will be delivered at a rate of five per year
and the first delivery will be in March 1999.
An Aer Lingus spokesman said the airline is considering a strategic
alliance with another airline and this process will be moved on when the sale of the TEAM aircraft maintenance subsidiary is concluded.
A $54 million compensation package for the TEAM workers is currently on the table.