Firmed A320 deals lift Airbus's January orders

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Despite expectations of a slower sales year, Airbus nevertheless logged more than 90 orders for January 2012, notably following the firming of tentative agreements by AviancaTaca and Spirit Airlines.

AviancaTaca signed for 51 A320-family jets, including 33 re-engined airframes. The 51 include 27 A319s, 20 A320s and four A321s, meaning that the carrier group will be taking at least some re-engined A319neos or A321neos.

Start-up Tibet Airlines has placed orders for three more A319s, which will give it a total of eight of the type. Air Namibia has also ordered a pair.

US carrier Spirit Airlines firmed its order for 30 baseline A320s on 27 January, having previously signed for 45 A320neos on 29 December last year.

Although budget carrier Norwegian had stated in a regulatory filing last month that its order for 100 A320neos was "firm", the deal has yet to appear on Airbus's books - although the parallel order for 122 Boeing 737 Max jets is listed as firm by the US airframer.

Boeing secured 150 gross orders for January, and 148 net, as a result. Its orders also included 10 787s from an unidentified customer.

Etihad Airways and lessor Air Lease ordered a total of three A330s, the only widebody deals for Airbus in January.

Airbus delivered 37 aircraft over the month including one A380, nine A330s - among them a freighter - and 27 A320-family jets. Boeing delivered one more airframe, a total of 38, among them 28 737s.