Tempe, USA: US Airways has agreed to terms with Airbus SAS for 60 single-aisle A320-family aircraft and 32 wide-body aircraft, including the next generation A350 XWB. The A320-family planes are slated to replace 60 older aircraft in the airline's fleet.
Deliveries of the 60 A320-family aircraft will begin in 2010.
The airline is also increasing its previously announced order of 20 A350s by two to 22 A350 XWBs in both the -800 and larger -900 series configuration. According to the airline, this will allow for modest international expansion or replacement of existing older technology aircraft, should market conditions warrant.
When the airline takes delivery of the first A350-800 in 2014, it will become the North American launch customer for the fleet type. The aircraft will feature Rolls Royce engines.
A statement from the airline says that purchase rights for additional planes are included, allowing for the eventual retirement of all other wide-body jets and leaving the airline with a single intercontinental fleet type of A350 XWBs.
Today's announcement also includes 10 A330-200 aircraft, with deliveries starting in 2009 and the option to convert to A330-300 or longer range A340s. These deliveries will also facilitate the eventual retirement of US Airways' B767 fleet.
The new acquisition will ensure increased commonality in the US Airways fleet, According to the carrier, more than 80 percent of its narrow-body fleet will be Airbus A320-family aircraft by 2012, as all three core types of the A320-family are included in the firm order.
US Airways currently holds firm orders for 37 A320 family aircraft for delivery in 2009 and 2010, increasing total commitments to the plane type to 97. Classic Boeing 737-300/400s will be eliminated from the fleet as the A320s are delivered.
Doug Parker, US Airways Group, Inc. chairman and chief executive officer said, "We are very pleased to once again partner with Airbus. This transaction sets the stage for the next generation of the US Airways fleet, which will be among the youngest and most efficient in the US airline industry. We're very excited about the A350 program and have every confidence that Airbus will manufacture a truly innovative and revolutionary aircraft.
US Airways president, Scott Kirby, added, "This new widebody order also allows US Airways to continue development of our international gateway in Philadelphia as well as new service from our other primary hubs with two to three new international destinations per year being added across the globe. The A350 XWB will have significantly longer range and payload capabilities but much lower costs than the A330s and 767s they replace, opening up new profitable markets across the globe to Asia, the Middle East and India."
The order is contingent upon execution of definitive purchase agreements, expected in the coming weeks.
US Airways is the fifth largest domestic airline and along with US Airways Shuttle and US Airways Express operates approximately 3,800 flights per day and serves more than 230 communities in the US, Canada, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America. The new US Airways is the product of a merger between America West and US Airways in September 2005.