The Australian investment group Tesna has decided to acquire 30 A320 Family airliners from Airbus - A320s and A321s - and to take an option on another ten, and has signed an MOU with Airbus to this effect in Toulouse on 10th February 2002.

Under the terms of the agreement, delivery of the aircraft to be operated by Ansett will begin in the second half of this year, and Airbus will provide all training and field service support for these aircraft in Australia.

When announcing the deal, Tesna Co-Chairman Lindsay Fox stressed the significance of this agreement. "Airbus' A320 Family is the most modern, efficient and environmentally friendly airliner family currently available, and will enable us to offer our passengers the highest level of comfort, alongside the greatest operational flexibility and lowest operating costs." And Co-Chairman Solomon Lew added: "I have confidence that this acquisition provides the basis for Ansett to grow and prosper in an extremely competitive and growing market."

Ansett currently operates in Australia's domestic market. The additional aircraft will allow it to further expand its scheduled service within Australia under the new ownership, and to continue to offer travelers the benefits of true competition. In addition to extremely low operating costs and a unique level of operational flexibility, the A320 Family has the widest cabin in its class with wider seats, and the benefit of containerised cargo underfloor.

Airbus Chief Commercial Officer John Leahy added: "This is a very significant transaction which demonstrates the confidence these successful entrepreneurs have in air transportation. Airbus is very proud to be part in this new undertaking which features the same pioneering spirit as the one with led Airbus to its current success."

A leading aircraft manufacturer with the most modern and comprehensive product line on the market, Airbus is a global company with design and manufacturing facilities in France, Germany, the UK and Spain, as well as subsidiaries in the U.S., China and Japan. Headquartered in Toulouse, France, Airbus is a joint EADS company with BAE SYSTEMS.