Rome based Air One, the second largest airline in Italy, has signed a contract with Airbus for the purchase of 30 A320s, with 60 more on option, becoming a new Airbus customer.

Air One's newly ordered A320s, powered by CFM International CFM56-5B6/P engines, and offering a comfortable two-class cabin layout for up to 159 passengers, will gradually replace the airline's current fleet of Boeing 737s. Air One, which is already serving 23 destinations will, with the A320 also launch new routes in Europe.

Carlo Toto, the President of Air One, said: "After a lengthy and very detailed evaluation of competing aircraft, we are fully convinced to have chosen the most efficient and comfortable aircraft available. We firmly believe that the A320's wide and spacious cabin will allow Air One to offer even more comfort for its passengers. The new aircraft will allow a valuable cost reduction and increase in productivity thanks to increased efficiency."

Gustav Humbert, President and Chief Executive Officer of Airbus said: "Airbus is delighted that Air One has become such an important Airbus customer by choosing the A320 Family. We are confident that the aircraft's advanced technology and efficiency, as well as its popularity with passengers and crews, and its market-leading environmental characteristics, will greatly contribute to Air One's continued growth into new markets."

Airlines value the A320 for its weight-saving composite structures and fuel-saving aerodynamic design. According to independent surveys, passengers prefer the greater space and comfort offered by the A320 Family cabin, including wider seats. With nearly 4,000 orders and a healthy backlog of over 1,300, the A320 family is the clear leader in this market segment.

Airbus is a leading aircraft manufacturer with the most modern and comprehensive family of airliners on the market. It has delivered over 4,000 aircraft to more than 290 customers and operators worldwide. Airbus is an EADS Company with BAE Systems.