Budget airlines place $6 billion order

German low-cost airline Air Berlin and its Austrian partner Niki Luftfahrt have placed an order worth approximately $6 billion for up to 110 Airbus A320 aircraft.

German low-cost airline Air Berlin and its Austrian partner Niki Luftfahrt have placed an order for up to 110 Airbus A320 aircraft in a combined acquisition. The order is said to be worth around $6 billion.

The initial agreements will cover firm orders for 70 aircraft, of which 60 will join the fleet of Air Berlin, while 10 are for Vienna, Austria, based Niki. The remaining 40 option aircraft are to be allocated at a later point in time. Deliveries are scheduled to start in September 2005.

The A320s for Air Berlin and Niki will seat 174 passengers in a single-class layout, and the aircraft will be deployed on both airlines’ routes from German and Austrian cities to holiday destinations in the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands. The aircraft will also fly on Air Berlin’s and Niki’s network of city shuttle destinations across Europe.

Gustav Humbert, Airbus Chief Operating Officer said: “We are delighted that a further major European low-cost alliance has decided in favour of our A320 Family aircraft. This underlines the success of the Airbus single-aisle product line with both classic airlines and charter operators/low-cost airlines.”