Cyprus Airways aims to conclude its long term fleet plans by the end of the year to enable it to place an order with Airbus Industrie or Boeing early in 2001.

The deal, potentially worth up to $450 million, will include a mix of wide and narrowbody aircraft.

The airline, which had recent demonstrations of a Boeing 767-400ER and an Airbus A330-200, says it is looking for a mix of 7-8 aircraft including 2-3 widebodies. The required delivery schedule of the new aircraft has not been finalised but is expected to begin in 2002/2003.

"The aircraft will replace our A310s and also provide for expansion," says the carrier's head of airline planning, Olga Eliades, who adds that the A330-200 and -500, 767-300ER, A320 and 737-700/800 are being evaluated.

The airline has been an important customer for Airbus in recent years, operating a fleet of four A310-200s and eight A320s (including three with its Eurocypria subsidiary). The 11-16 year old A310s are used mainly on flights to London, but also on tourist flights to other European destinations.

Source: Flight International