Virgin America orders 60 Airbus A320s worth $5bn

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Low-cost US carrier Virgin America has ordered 60 medium-range Airbus A320 airliners for around $5 billion (3.8 billion euros), the European planemaker Airbus announced Monday.

The contract was signed on December 29, allowing Airbus to boast Monday that its 2010 order book was bigger than that of arch US rival Boeing.

Half of the orders were for the A320 in its "A320neo" configuration -- "New Engine Option" -- which the firm says gives operators 15 percent fuel savings.

Virgin America is an independent American airline that began flying in 2007 and is based in San Francisco. It is only 25 percent owned by Richard Branson's British-based Virgin Group and serves mainly US domestic routes.

© 2011 AFP

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