Virgin America Places Big Order for New Airbus Jet By JAD MOUAWAD New York Times, January 17, 2011 Airbus , the European aircraft manufacturer, said Monday that Virgin America had signed an order for 60 new single-aisle A320 airplanes. The order includes 30 A320neo, a new version of Airbus’s best-selling airplane that will be equipped with a more fuel-efficient engine. The new airplanes could reduce fuel consumption by 15 percent, according to Airbus. They will be delivered starting in 2016, said John Leahy, Airbus’s top salesman. While it was made public Monday, Virgin America signed its contract on Dec. 29. This makes it the launch customer for the A320neo. It also means the contract will be logged in Airbus’s 2010 order book, which now totals 644 orders. Airbus said that allows it to nudge ahead of Boeing in 2010, which announced orders of 625 planes, according to Airbus. After months of hesitation, Airbus announced in November that it would go ahead with its plans to update its A320 airplane, one of the world’s best-selling planes. The A320neo stands for New Engine Option, a
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Airbus, Boeing 787, Competition between Airbus and Boeing, Airbus A350, Airbus A380