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Airbus lands major jet order with Delta Air Lines

US-based carrier Delta Air Lines has announced it has bought 40 new aircraft from Airbus. The order is the first firm order placed by the US carrier with the European jet maker in over two decades.

The order was for 10 wide-body A330-300 Airbus planes, as well as for 30 single-aisle A321neo jets, US-based airline Delta announced Wednesday.

The new aircraft, expected to be delivered between 2015 and 2017, were part of the airline's effort to renew its fleet with a view to enhancing profitability and improving capacity utilization, Delta said.

"This Airbus agreement is another opportunistic fleet transaction for Delta in which we acquire economically efficient, proven-technology aircraft," Delta Chief Executive Richard Anderson said in a statement.

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The purchases have a combined value of about $5.6 billion (4.2 billion euros) according to Airbus's catalog prices, although planemakers are usually given large discounts on orders of this magnitude.

Delta Air Lines has not bought aircraft from Airbus in over two decades, acquiring planes solely from the European company's US rival Boeing.

Airbus said that many of the A321 planes for Delta were planned to be assembled at is new plant in Mobile, Alabama, which was expected to start operating in 2016.

uhe/ccp (AP, AFP)

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