Russian carrier UTair has signed a firm order with Airbus for 20 A321s, during the Farnborough International Airshow 2012. This is the largest order for the type received from a carrier in the region and the first time that UTair, one of Russia’s largest carriers, has ordered Airbus aircraft.

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Middle East Airlines-Air Liban, the flag carrier of Lebanon, has signed a memorandum of understanding for five A320neo and five A321neo jets, and has optioned eight additional A320neo-family aircraft.

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Hong Kong-based China Aircraft Leasing Company signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on July 11, 2012 at the Farnborough International Airshow 2012 for 36 Airbus A320-family aircraft. The commitment includes eight A321s and all 36 aircraft can potentially be fitted with Sharklets.

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Arkia Israeli Airlines, Israel’s second-biggest carrier, has signed a purchase agreement for four Airbus A321neos at the Farnborough International Airshow 2012. This firm order makes Arkia Israeli Airlines a new Airbus customer and the first carrier in Israel to order the Airbus A320neo family.

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Marking the start of manufacturing of the airliner, machining began on July 8 of the first engine-pylon component at the Saint-Eloi Airbus pylon and nacelle factory in Toulouse.

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The new light-premium regional sub-brand of Thai Airways International, Thai Smile, took delivery of its first aircraft, an Airbus A320, on Friday, June 28 in Hamburg. The delivery sees the Thai Airways International group become a new operator of the A320 family.

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Mexican carrier Volaris Airlines is launching service between Mexico City and Orlando in Florida on July 14. Initially Volaris Airlines will operate its Mexico City-Orlando route twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

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Already rated by the Carbon Disclosure Project as the world’s top airline for sustainability practices and open-disclosure reporting, Finnair is intensifying its sustainability efforts. The intensified focus comes as Finnair increasingly brands itself an “ecosmart” airline.

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Bingo Airways’ network is focused on flights from Poland to resort destinations in the Mediterranean countries of Egypt, Turkey, Greece, Spain and Tunisia. Bingo Airways’ bases in Poland will be Warsaw Chopin and Katowice International airports.

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Rolled out from the Airbus A320 final-assembly line in Toulouse on April 26, 2012, MSN 5098 will be one of several A320-family aircraft in the certification flight-test campaign.

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The Japanese carrier will start commercial services in July operating from Tokyo’s Narita International Airport to Kansai, Fukuoka, Sapporo, and Okinawa with an initial fleet of three Airbus A320s. This fleet will grow to 24 aircraft within three years, according to Airbus.

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With the expansion of in-flight Internet across its Airbus A320-family and Embraer 190 fleets, US Airways will have 90 per cent of its mainline domestic fleet equipped with Wi-Fi Internet access. The service will also be expanded to US Airways Express Embraer 170 and 175 jets operated by Republic Airlines.

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Drukair, the flag carrier of the landlocked Eastern Himalayan mountain Kingdom of Bhutan, has signed a memorandum of understanding for an Airbus A319 fitted with fuel-saving Sharklets, to complement its existing fleet of two A319s.

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The firm contract is an increase of the previous agreement signed at the 2011 Dubai Airshow for 50 Airbus A320neo-family jets.

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Seating 112 passengers in a two-class layout, the Airbus A319s will operate on Air Namibia’s regional international routes from Windhoek Hosea Kutako International Airport to other major African cities.

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Mexican low-cost carrier Volaris has signed a purchase contract for 30 A320neo jets and 14 A320s, firming up a memorandum of understanding it signed on November 16.

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Delivery of the latest Airbus A320 to Volaris gives the airline a fleet of 10 A320s and 24 Airbus A319s. The average age of the aircraft in the Volaris fleet is 4.2 years, giving the Mexican airline one of the youngest fleets, if not the youngest, in North America.

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Airbus has delivered its 7,000th aircraft, an A321-200, to US Airways – which operates the largest fleet of Airbus aircraft in the world.

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The order follows a memorandum of understanding which Transaero Airlines signed in August at the MAKS-2011 International Aviation and Space Salon in Moscow.

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