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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 December, 2003, 11:17 GMT
EADS clinches $1.6bn plane order
Airbus plant inToulouse
Airbus is battling Boeing for the long-haul market
EADS has signed a deal to sell six Airbus A380 super-jumbo planes to Malaysia Airlines for $1.6bn.

Aerospace firm EADS is the parent company and majority owner of European plane maker Airbus.

The deal is a coup for Airbus which has predicted its sales will overtake those of US rival Boeing in 2003.

The A380 planes are 555-seater long haul jets, which play a major role in Airbus' plans to challenge Boeing as the main supplier of long-haul jets.

Payment pending

Under the deal, EADS will sell the jets to Malaysia Airlines' parent firm, state-owned Penerbangan Malaysia Bhd (PMB), which will lease them to the airline.

PMB acknowledged that it has yet to finalise the funding to buy the six planes.

"We have ample time for the funding issue to be sorted out," said Malaysian Second Finance Minister Jamaludin Jarjis at the ceremony.

Airbus is taking advance orders for the A380, and says the plane will be ready to go into service in 2006.

Both Singapore Airlines and Australia-based Qantas have ordered the plane.

Malaysia Airlines' existing 100-strong fleet is mostly made up of Boeings.

The airline flies 18 times a week from the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur to London and is thought likely to use the planes on this route.

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17 Jun 03  |  Business

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