Royal Air Maroc entered a new era yesterday with the delivery of its first Airbus aircraft in Hamburg, an A321, thus joining the European manufacturer's worldwide customer base of some 200 customers and operators. The aircraft is the first of four single-aisle A321s firmly ordered by the Moroccan national carrier from Airbus in June 2001. The second A321 will be delivered to Royal Air Maroc in a few weeks. All aircraft will be powered by CFM56-5B engines from CFM International.

Royal Air Maroc will use the A321 on its medium haul high density routes such as Casablanca-Paris. The A321, the largest member of Airbus' highly successful A320 Family, is the preferred aircraft of airlines with a strong customer base of tourist travellers. In the spacious layout selected by Royal Air Maroc, the A321 will seat 177 passengers and up to 198 in high season.

The A320 Family aircraft, which includes the A318, A319, A320 and A321, offers the widest fuselage cross-section in its class, and sets new standards in airliner comfort on the single-aisle market. Its state-of-the-art technology, based on Airbus's unique commonality concept, together with its low fuel burn and operational efficiency, provides an unbeatable combination of economy and comfort.

As part of its support to customers, Airbus will be providing on line support to Royal Air Maroc with a technical representation at the carrier's base in Casablanca. A320 Family expertise will be developed within the airline, which will be furthered in 2004 when EADS Sogerma together with Royal Air Maroc sets up a maintenance centre in Marrakech. This capacity could be extended to third parties generating potential additional revenues for the airline.

Firm orders for the best-selling A320 Family now exceed 3,000, more than 2,000 of which have been delivered to more than 110 operators around the world.

A leading aircraft manufacturer with the most modern and comprehensive product line, and a total order book for more than 4,800 aircraft, 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 an EADS joining Company with BAE SYSTEMS.