Finnair and Brazil's TAM have become new Airbus Industrie customers, with orders for a total of 17 aircraft and options on a further 29.

Finnair has chosen the Airbus A319/A320/A321 narrowbody range to replace its fleet of McDonnell Douglas DC-9s.

The Finnish carrier will take an initial 12 aircraft, with options on a further 24. Deliveries are to begin in early 1999 with two A321s. Market conditions will then dictate Finnair's choice of aircraft marque. The total potential contract value is around FIM 2,000 million ($385 million), says the airline.

Finnair says that the Airbus narrowbodies are "excellently suited" to its traffic operations. It also cites the cross-crew commonality of the three types as a reason for the choice. A decision on either IAE V2500 or CFM56 powerplants has been postponed, says Finnair.

TAM has placed five firm orders with five options for the A330-200 (the longer-range, shortened version of the A330-300) for its expanding Latin American network and to enable expansion to Europe, planned for 1999.

The airline also announced its choice of Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines for the aircraft following negotiations at the show.

TAM is Airbus' first A330-200 customer in Latin America.

Source: Flight International