Finnair has chosen Airbus Industrie A319, A320 and A321 aircraft to replace its McDonnell Douglas (MDC) fleet, it has beenannounced at the Show.

The $388-million deal is significant in the new commercial aviation world where Boeing is acquiring MDC, leaving it to battle it out with Airbus.



Finnair is to sign a letter of intent for an initial 12 aircraft and there is an option for a further 24 aircraft.

A decision on engine type will be made later.

The airline - the first Nordic operator to opt for Airbus for some years - will take a mix of 126-seat A319s, 153-seat A320s and 188-seat A321s to replace the 121-seat DC9s operated on its European scheduled routes.

The option for a further 24 aircraft from the same family is intended to replace 25 MD80 aircraft currently operated by Finnair.

Boeing, with its next generation 737s, was the rival candidate in the deal.

The first two aircraft on order are A321s, due to enter service in 1999. The rest will be delivered at a rate of about four a year up to 2001. Delivery of different types of aircraft will be made on a flexible basis.

Source: Flight Daily News