Kingfisher firms five-A350 order in otherwise bleak April

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India's Kingfisher Airlines has finally firmed its order for five Airbus A350-800s, according to April backlog figures released by the airframer.

Kingfisher signed for five pre-XWB A350s in 2005 but while these were expected to be converted into XWBs, a firm order did not materialise and Airbus last year stopped including the Kingfisher aircraft in its claimed XWB order totals.

But Airbus' latest monthly backlog figures show that Kingfisher firmed the order on 1 April this year. The five A350-800 XWBs do not change the overall XWB backlog of 483 aircraft.

There is still no sign, however, of a firm order for the additional A350s to which Kingfisher tentatively committed at the Paris Air Show in 2007. The airline's memorandum of understanding, signed at the show, covered 15 A350-800s as well as 35 other Airbus aircraft.

Airbus' April figures reveal that little other business was concluded during the month, although a company it identifies as Metco is recorded as ordering two A330-200s while International Lease Finance has also booked a single example.

There were no changes to the A320-family figures, giving Airbus an overall net order total of just 11 aircraft for 2009. In the first four months of this year the airframer delivered 162 jets.