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Tue, Jun 26, 2007

EasyJet Exercises Options For More A319s

Carrier Has Received A New Jet Every 13 Days, On Average, Since 2003

EasyJet announced Monday it has reached agreement with Airbus to exercise existing options over 35 Airbus A319s for delivery during 2011 and 2012, to sustain the British low-cost carrier's long-term growth and help meet its goal of operating one of the youngest fleets of any major airline in Europe with 135 of the cleanest, quietest aircraft available in their class, said the company.

The total size of easyJet's order of Airbus aircraft, including options, first announced in October 2002, is 315. Monday's announcement means easyJet now has 120 aircraft on firm order with Airbus, with a list price of over $7 billion, and holds purchase rights for 88 more aircraft on top of that.

Airbus has delivered 105 A319s to easyJet since September 2003 -- that's a new jet every 13 days.

"This major new aircraft order supports our continuing and by 2012 we expect to have 229 aircraft and expects to carry in the region of 65 million passengers each year - making us one of Europe's larges airlines," said easyJet CEO Andy Harrison.

Airbus touts its A320 Family as some of the most environmentally-efficient aircraft available, and easyJet notes the A319s are roughly 15 percent more efficient per seat than the older-generation 737-300 aircraft they will replace in its fleet. Combined with its practice of higher seat densities and higher load factors, easyJet says it emits nearly 27 percent fewer emissions per passenger mile than a traditional airline flying similar routes.

"Last week easyJet outlined its demands for the next generation of aircraft technology from 2015 and unveiled its 'easyJet ecoJet' design of concept," Harrison continued. "In the intervening years, easyJet is proud to operate one of the youngest fleets of clean, quiet aircraft of any major airline in Europe. Our combination of a modern fleet, with an average age of 2.3 years, and high utilization means that we emit nearly 27 percent fewer emissions per passenger mile than traditional airlines flying similar routes."

According to Bloomberg, the carrier started 14 new routes this year and will add 16 before the end of the year and expects to increase its capacity by 15 percent in the next 12 months. The company opened its 17th base in Madrid in February.

"Our partnership with easyJet is strong and we're proud of it. We're very proud our aircraft continue to be recognized as offering the best environmental and operational performance in their class. With the widest fuselage in the single aisle market, allowing quicker turnaround times, the A320 family really does help increase productivity," said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer - Customers.

FMI: www.easyjet.com, www.airbus.com

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