The Airbus Industrie airliner consortium is understood to have won its first major Latin American order, worth £2.3bn, in a market previously dominated by Boeing. As the builder of Airbus wings, British Aerospace stands to make £460m from the deal.
Three airlines and aircraft holding companies have joined forces to seal an order for 100 aircraft in the A-319, A-320 and A-321 short to medium range airliner family, with options on over 90 more. The South American companies involved are believed to be Chile’s LanChile, El Salvador’s Taca Group and Tam of Brazil.
The aircraft are due for delivery between 2000 and 2005. Apparently the airlines and the companies won significant discounts.
In a separate move which could improve Airbus’s chances in Asia, a team which groups Airbus with Italy’s Alenia and China’s Avic is about to kickstart development of the new 100-seat AE31X airliner, a smaller derivative of the A319 family.
The AE31X steering committee has now decided that the European partners and Avic should set up a joint project office for the AE31X by next month – with or without the participation of Singapore Technologies.
The AE31X programme is intended to replace China’s DC-9s, Boeing 737s and various ageing Soviet-built aircraft.
The project was launched in 1996 with the work split between Avic with 46%, an Airbus/Alenia subsidiary called AIA with 39%, and SingTech with 15%.