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Farnborough: AirAsia firmed up options on 40 Airbus A320, Grupo Marsans signs MoU for 12 firm A330-200s

Today at Farnborough Spanish tourism firm Grupo Marsans signed a memorandum of understanding for a dozen Airbus A330-200s and options on ten more while Malaysian low-fare carrier AirAsia firmed up its 40 Airbus A320 options and taken an additional 30 options for the aircraft type.

Under the commitment, Grupo Marsans' aircraft will be delivered in 2008 and 2009. No engine selection has yet been made.

Grupo Marsans, whose Spanish and Latin American airline interests include Air Plus Comet and Aerolineas Argentinas, will use the aircraft to replace ageing Boeing 747-200s operated by its subsidiaries.

Grupo Marsans president Gonzalo Pascual says: “This purchase is an important step for Grupo Marsans and demonstrates our commitment to developing and enhancing our group’s market position and our long-haul network.”

Deliveries of AirAsia's A320s are scheduled to begin in April 2009 and continue through 2011. Air Asia has now ordered 100 A320 firmly aircraft and holds a further 30 options. Seven A320s are currently in service with the carrier.

AirAsia director and co-founder Conor McCarthy says the carrier’s 35 Boeing 737-300s will exit its fleet “as they reach a certain age”, enabling the airline to “migrate to an all-A320 fleet”.

The carrier has not selected an engine type for the latest order, although it chose the CFM International CFM56 to power its initial A320 order.

US lessor International Lease Finance (ILFC) has ordered another six Airbus A320s, taking its overall total orders for the narrowbody family to over 430 aircraft.

ILFC disclosed the order during the Farnborough air show.

“Worldwide demand for airliners, and especially the A320 family, remains strong,” says ILFC chief Steven Udvar-Hazy. “So it makes sense to top up our orders from time to time, so as to maintain aircraft availability for our customers.”

ILFC has also today ordered ten more aircraft from Boeing during the show, converting options on six Boeing 737-800s, two 777-300ERs and two 787s.

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