Mexican LCC VivaAerobus orders 52 Airbus jets

Mexican LCC VivaAerobus orders 52 Airbus jets
A model of an Airbus A320 Neo.

MEXICO CITY - Airbus on Monday signed its biggest Latin American order from a single airline in its history, with a US$5.2 billion (S$6.4 billion) purchase agreement for 52 aircraft with Mexican low- cost carrier (LCC) VivaAerobus.

The deal will replace the airline's entire fleet of Boeing 737-300 planes to become an all-Airbus carrier by 2016, the European aircraft maker said in a statement.

The purchase agreement with VivaAerobus Group includes 52 Airbus A320 Family aircraft: 40 A320neo, a more fuel-efficient version of the medium haul A320, and 12 A320ceo.

VivaAerobus is a partnership between Grupo IAMSA, one of Mexico's biggest transport companies, and Irelandia Aviation, whose Ryan family founded Irish low-cost carrier Ryan- air.

The A320 deal was signed in Mexico City by Ryanair co-founder Declan Ryan, a vice-chairman of VivaAerobus, and Airbus North America chief executive Barry Eccleston, Mexican officials said.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and visiting Irish counterpart Michael Higgins witnessed the ceremony at the National Palace along with the signing of other deals between universities and companies from both countries.

"After evaluating the latest aircraft technology with the objective of further reducing our costs, improving our reliability, punctuality and the overall passenger experience, today we are proud to announce that the Airbus A320 has been our final choice," said VivaAerobus chief executive Juan Carlos Zuazua.

VivaAerobus would announce the engine selection at a later date, the statement said.

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