Virgin Atlantic Buys 10 Airbus A330 Jets

PARIS (AP) -- Virgin Atlantic Airways has ordered 10 Airbus A330-300 passenger jets worth more than $2 billion at list prices, Airbus said Monday.

The European aircraft manufacturer said Virgin Atlantic will buy six of the the wide-body, twin-engine jets from Airbus and will lease another four from AerCap, the Netherlands-based aircraft leasing company.

The jets have a list price of $201 million each, Airbus spokesman Justin Dubon said.

The A330-300 is a medium- to long-range jet. Virgin Atlantic's planes will seat up to 270 passengers in three classes.

During last week's Paris Air Show, Toulouse, France-based Airbus chalked up firm orders for 58 planes worth $6.4 billion over five days, mostly from Asian and budget airlines.

Including commitments -- when customers make a deposit but the sale is not legally binding -- Airbus signed deals worth $12.9 billion for 127 planes.

Airbus aims to book around 300 orders this year, far fewer than the 777 orders it took in last year as airlines feel the effect of an unprecedented drop in demand, caused by the global recession.

Rival Boeing Co. is also booking far fewer orders this year because of the downturn.

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