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Thu, Aug 31, 2006

US Airways Adds More A321s To Order

Deliveries Will Start Earlier Than Planned

They're making hay while the sun shines over at US Airways. Bolstered by stronger-than-expected earnings so far this year, on Wednesday the airline formed by the merger of American West and US Airways added seven new Airbus A321s to its standing order for 30 Airbus A320-family aircraft.

The carrier also converted one order for an A320, and seven A319 orders, into larger A321s. All told, the change covers 15 A321 planes, with first deliveries expected in July 2008 -- six months earlier than originally planned.

"This transaction provides important fleet flexibility to US Airways," said Chairman, President and CEO Doug Parker. "The expanded and accelerated order positions will either allow US Airways to replace less efficient aircraft more quickly or allow for modest expansion should market conditions warrant."

The A321 aircraft will be configured to accommodate 183 passengers in two classes of service (16 first class, 167 main cabin). US Airways also retains conversion flexibility within the A320 family on the remaining 22 aircraft.

"US Airways was our very first U.S. airline customer for the A321, following much success with other variants of the A320 Family," said Christian Streiff, Airbus President and Chief Executive Officer. "For an airline to come back for more of an aircraft that, for them, was a new experience, is a great vote of confidence for the integrity of the Airbus product line."

Firm orders for the A320 Family - consisting of the A318, A319, A320 and A321 - currently stand at nearly 4,500 aircraft from 162 customers.

The recently merged US Airways and America West fly the largest fleet (205) of Airbus aircraft in the world, including single-aisle and widebody aircraft. US Airways and America West's recent merger creates the fifth largest domestic airline employing nearly 35,000 aviation professionals. US Airways, US Airways Shuttle and US Airways Express operate approximately 3,800 flights per day and serve more than 230 communities in the U.S., Canada, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America.

FMI: www.usairways.com

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