European commercial aircraft builder Airbus said it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Tunisian start-up airline Syphax Airlines for 10 of its A320 family single-aisle jets.
The airline has signed six firm contracts and has taken options on another four.
If Syphax follows through with its order and exercises its options, the contract is potentially worth around $933 million on the basis of Airbus catalog prices.
The airline's order comprises three A320neo aircraft -- a more fuel-efficient version of the narrow-bodied A320 that is under development -- as well as three of the A320 current version, and is worth $555 million at list price.
Meanwhile, Syphax has selected CFM International’s LEAP-1A and CFM56-5B engines to power 3 Airbus A320neo and 3 Airbus A319/A320ceo aircraft, respectively.
The airline will take delivery of its first A320ceo in 2015, while the new A320neo aircraft are schedule to begin delivery in 2019. The firm engine orders are valued at $145 million U.S. at list price.
“These engines are the right choice for our growing airline,” said Mr. Mohamed Frikha, Chairman of Syphax Airlines.
“CFM56 engines have sterling reputation for reliability and low cost of ownership and we have had very good experience with them. We have every confidence that the LEAP product line will be just as good and are looking forward to introducing these into our fleet,” he added.
Launched in 2011, Syphax Airlines is the first private Tunisian “hybrid” airline. Syphax hopes to help expand the regional economy by providing essential access from its two main hubs, Sfax –Thyna Airport and Tunis-Carthage. The airline serves destinations in the Mediterranean basin such as France, Germany, Libya, and Turkey, in addition to domestic routes with two leased CFM56-5B-powered Airbus A319ceo aircraft.
Source: Dow Jones Newswires; GE Aviation - Photo: Airliners.net