Airbus this week gave the go-ahead for the A318 airliner and is already looking forward to a possible £2bn order for the 100-seat plane. First deliveries are due in 2002.
British Aerospace plants at Broughton, Chester and Filton will be making and assembling the wings. BAe has a 20% stake in the four-nation Airbus consortium.
The A318 was announced after an order from Air France for 15 aircraft, with 10 more on option, and another order from Egyptair for three A318s.
Together, these orders could be worth £630m if options are taken up. They are included in what Airbus said are 109 `orders and commitments’ for the A318.
The aircraft is a smaller version of the A320 family, which also includes the A319 and A321. Although described as a 100-seater, the twin-engined A318 will normally seat 107 to 117 passengers, depending on class and cabin layout.
The `list price’ of each A318 is $36m, but this could vary depending on how many are ordered and which options are taken up.