TAP Portugal signs New Aircraft Deal with Airbus

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Tuesday, 27 November 2007

TAP Portugal has signed a firm contract for 12 Airbus A350XWBs, plus three options, and a letter of intent for an additional eight A320 Family aircraft. The Lisbon based airline is converting its initial order for the A350, placed in December 2005, into the new A350XWB, and has, simultaneously, increased the number of aircraft ordered, from 10 to 12. At the same time TAP is taking delivery of its first directly owned A330-200.

TAP's Chief Executive Officer, Fernando Pinto, said, "We have thoroughly re-evaluated our initial A350 order and the result clearly demonstrated that the XWB is the winner in all areas. This aircraft will meet TAP's requirements to cater for passenger traffic growth across the Atlantic and our plans to serve further destinations. The A350XWB offers outstanding passenger comfort thanks to its wider cabin, and unmatched operating costs, fuel consumption and environmental friendliness. The further additional A320s is a natural choice for our expansion plans, as the A320s perfectly fit our need for efficient single aisle aircraft  offering the best possible comfort for our passengers."

TAP is Airbus' largest customer in Portugal. The A350XWBs will in time replace the airline's A340-300 and A330-200 fleet, and support TAP's network expansion.

The A350XWB (extra wide-body) is Airbus' response to market demand for a medium capacity long range wide-body family available in three basic passenger versions, the A350-800 which can fly 270 passengers, the A350-900 seating 314, and the A350-1000 which is designed for 350. With TAP's order, total firm orders for the A350 XWB programme stand at 288 aircraft.

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