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[PARIS] Airbus said on Tuesday that Indonesian carrier Garuda had signed a firm purchase order for 14 of its new generation wide-bodied A330-900neo airliner for US$4 billion.
The deal, sealed in London for the re-engined version of Airbus' popular A330 airliner, is designed to bolster Garuda's expansion.
Airbus said the order, for delivery from 2019, replaces and extends an existing one for seven of the earlier version A330-300 planes.
"We are delighted to welcome Garuda Indonesia as a new customer for the A330neo," Airbus Chief Operating Officer Tom Williams said in a statement, underlining benefits including significantly lower fuel consumption, lower maintenance costs and extended range capability.
Airbus added the deal was a milestone in a partnership stretching back more than 30 years.
The parties signed the contract at a ceremony in London in the presence of Indonesian President Joko Widodo and British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Airbus said Garuda intends to use the A330neo "to develop its medium and long haul network, with the aircraft offering cutting edge technology along with more efficient operations." Arif Wibowo, Garuda CEO, said the deal was a part of a long-term market strategy.
"Both Garuda Indonesia and Airbus fully understand the aim of the deal as a long-term strategy to win the global challenge," said Mr Arif, who said the carrier is targeting "the most modern, comfortable and excellent air travel service to all customers" via sustained expansion.
He said the new Airbus plane "will support us to compete better in the industry."
The A330-900neo is equipped with latest generation Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, cutting fuel consumption by 14 per cent, with Airbus lauding it as the world's most cost efficient, long range widebody aircraft.
Airbus expects to start making first deliveries of the new model from the fourth quarter of next year.