Syrian Arab Airlines eyes additional Tu-204s

Abu Dhabi
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Syrian Arab Airlines could double the complement of Tupolev Tu-204s in its fleet, having signed an initial agreement to take three of the type.

The carrier has been blocked from taking Airbus aircraft - its preferred option - by US government sanctions, and the country's air transport system is to face further pressure with restrictions imposed by the Arab League.

Syrian Arab chairman Ghaida Abdulatif, speaking during the Arab Air Carriers Organization conference in Abu Dhabi, said the airline was "very serious" about introducing the Tu-204s.

The first will arrive in 2013, said Abdulatif, adding that the carrier was already looking to increase the total number to six, with "more in the future".

Syrian Arab Airlines operates a fleet of Airbus A320 family twinjets as well as a pair of ATR turboprops.