US Airways has confirmed orders for another 26 Airbus Industrie A320s and an additional three A330s as the carrier continues to expand its domestic and international services.

The latest aircraft order tally released by Airbus shows unannounced orders for 26 CFM56-5-powered A320s and three Pratt & Whitney PW4000-equipped A330s. It is understood the orders placed in August represent incremental aircraft for US Airways.

US Airways will not comment on the A320 order beyond what it has already publicly announced. The Washington-based carrier has officially ordered a total of 139 A320s and A319s, plus "reconfirmable" positions with specified delivery dates on another 196 and rolling options on 50 more. Deliveries average one a week totalling 21 A319s and nine A320s.

According to US Airways' figures, it has 10 A330-300s on firm order for delivery from next year, whereas Airbus lists only seven.

The A330s will initially be used to replace Boeing 767-200s on services from Philadelphia to Paris and Frankfurt from next May. This will be followed with the introduction of the widebody on US Airways' routes from Philadelphia to London Gatwick and Rome and between Pittsburgh and Frankfurt.

Use of A330s on transatlantic routes will expand as more aircraft are delivered. US Airways plans to launch services next year from Charlotte to Paris and Frankfurt and between Philadelphia and Manchester, initially using 767s.

It is unclear how the additional A320s will be employed and US Airways is unable to say whether it plans to place new aircraft with its Metrojet operation. The low-cost subsidiary has 43 Boeing 737-200s and had been due to expand to 54. It has been forced to slow down growth plans because of a shortage of aircraft.

Source: Flight International