Egypt-based low-cost carrier Air Cairo is currently finalising the acquisition of six A318s, becoming the first Middle East customer for the smallest member of the modern Airbus family.
Air Cairo, which is majority owned by Egyptair, plans to use the Airbus A318s mostly on flights within Egypt, but also on some routes to Europe and within the Middle East.
Deliveries of Air Cairo’s A318s are planned to begin in the third quarter of 2006. They will seat up to 120 passengers in an all-economy layout, and be powered by CFM International CFM56-5 engines.
“We needed a small aircraft to match the passenger traffic that we have on our domestic and international routes, and the Airbus A318 combines the benefits of large-jet passenger comfort with attractive small-jet economics,” says Air Cairo Chairman Kamal Zaki. “We will also benefit from the Airbus A318’s commonality with the Airbus 320 Family aircraft in the Egyptair fleet.”
Air Cairo currently flies two Airbus A321s - leased from Egyptair - on charter flights to Europe, as well as within the Middle East.
“Air Cairo’s selection of the the A318 – at the opposite end of the scale to the A380 - highlights the need to offer airlines a broad family of aircraft, as well as one that delivers the benefits of modern technology,” says Airbus President and CEO Noël Forgeard. “We are also pleased to be building on the long-standing partnership that we have with Air Cairo parent company Egyptair, which is one of our largest customers in the Middle East.”
Passengers flying in Airbus A320 Family aircraft benefit from the widest and most spacious cabin in its class, while airlines benefit from unmatched economy and low maintenance costs.
The Airbus A320 Family, of which the A318 is the youngest and smallest member, is the world’s most modern and popular single-aisle airliner product line. It has been ordered by, or is in service with almost 200 customers and operators around the world, and consistently leads in independent passenger and airline surveys. Firm orders for the Airbus A320 Family stand at more than 3,500 aircraft, of which almost 2,500 have been delivered. Airbus is an EADS joint company with BAE Systems.