LAN orders 30 Airbus A320 planes


Paris – Commercial jet builder Airbus said Wednesday it has received a firm order from Chile’s LAN Airlines for 30 Airbus A320 family of narrow-bodied airlines.

A spokesman for Airbus at the company’s Toulouse, France-based headquarters said LAN is ordering 12 A319s and 18 A320s, single-aisle workhorses that are used by airlines on short-to-medium haul routes.

The A319 carries a catalog price of $70 million and the A320 is priced at $77 million, giving an overall value for the 30 jets of around $2.3 billion. However, customer airlines typically negotiate deep discounts for bulk orders, and non-cash side deals, for example, training.

The LAN order brings to 255 the number of firm orders booked by Airbus so far this year. The wholly owned unit of European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co NV (EAD.FR) has set itself a target of a gross firm order intake of 300 aircraft in 2009.

On Tuesday, Malaysia Airlines said it wants to buy 15 wide-bodied Airbus A330 planes, with options for another 10 aircraft. And earlier this month, Airbus clinched a major order with UAL Corp.’s (UAUA) United Airlines worth some $6 billion for 25 of its future A350 XWB wide-bodied jets. However, both those contracts have still to be firmed up, and the UAL order is unlikely to be so by year-end, Airbus sources said.

Airbus only includes firm contracts in the order figures that it publishes every month.

LAN Airlines is already a major Airbus customer, and the latest order will increase its fleet of Airbus jets to 100. The Chilean airline will use its planes from Latin American hubs and the latest contract gives it flexibility to settle the exact type of aircraft it will receive closer to the planned delivery time.

Separately, an Airbus official said the company has just delivered its tenth A380 superjumbo so far this year. The jet was handed over to Dubai-based Emirates, the biggest customer for world’s largest passenger aircraft with 58 on order.

Airbus had set an objective of delivering 13 A380s this year, but company officials have said that “one or two” might spill over into 2010. Airbus plans to deliver about 20 A380s in 2010.