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Cathay Pacific to Buy 10 Europe Airbus Jets, 1st Non-U.S. Order

The four-nation European Airbus consortium has sold 10 of its new wide-bodied jets to Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways in a deal that could be worth up to $2.2 billion, the airline said today.

Cathay’s order with Airbus Industrie marks the first time in its 41 years that it has ordered an aircraft built outside the United States. The order for 10 A330-300 jets includes options on a further 10.

Airbus--a consortium of aircraft manufacturers from France, West Germany, Britain and Spain--won the order in the face of strong competition from the MD-11 jet aircraft made by St. Louis-based McDonnell Douglas Corp.

British engine maker Rolls-Royce will supply its RB211-524L engines for the Cathay order, the first time it has ever won an order to power Airbus aircraft. The deal is worth $350 million to Rolls-Royce.

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Previously all the European plane maker’s aircraft, including the early A300 models, were powered by either General Electric Co. or Pratt and Whitney engines.


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