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Airbus to sell 10 A321s to Paramount

EUROPEAN jet maker Airbus SAS said yesterday that it has agreed to sell 10 A321 planes to India's Paramount Airways.

The memorandum of understanding signed with Paramount also includes an option for an additional 10 of the single-aisle, short to medium-range passenger jets, Airbus said in a statement.

Each A321 has a list price of US$90.3 million.

The deal was signed on the fifth day of the 48th Le Bourget air show near Paris, the first day that the event was opened to the general public. Organizers expect around 150,000 visitors to the event, the world's largest, which opened to press and professionals on Monday.

Airbus has remained ahead of arch rival Boeing Co in the hunt for orders throughout the air show, with the United States firm's only order so far this week a US$153 million deal at list prices paling beside the US$6.25 billion in firm orders chalked up through Thursday by Airbus.

On Thursday, Airbus and Hungary's budget carrier Wizz Air signed a MoU for 50 A320 single-aisle passenger jets worth a total of US$3.8 billion at list prices.

Airbus' Chief Operating Officer John Leahy said he expects that deal to become a firm order very shortly.

Far fewer deals have been signed than years past, as airlines and governments strapped for cash and credit appeared to have come to the air show mostly as tourists instead of buyers this year, admiring the high-tech hardware but hiding their checkbooks.

Boeing shrugged off the Airbus announcements.


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