Irish flag-carrier Aer Lingus has exercised four options for Airbus A320 aircraft which were part of an agreement for the type sealed in 2003.

Aer Lingus will take delivery of the aircraft between late 2010 and early 2011. It says the list price for the jets is just under $227 million but adds that it has obtained price concessions from the airframer.

The carrier signed an agreement for seven firm aircraft in 2003 and placed options on several more.

Aer Lingus says it will examine financing options nearer to the delivery date, although it points out that it can fund a “significant portion” of the order through its own “substantial” cash reserves.

It says the extra short-haul aircraft are consistent with its growth strategy; the carrier plans to have a total fleet of 39 jets by 2011.

Aer Lingus has not identified a powerplant supplier for the four A320s but the rest of its A320-family fleet is fitted with CFM International CFM56s.

Source:'s sister premium news site Air Transport Intelligence news