The new Mexican start-up airline Volaris, with headquarters in Toluca, Mexico City, has signed a contract with Airbus for the acquisition of 16 firm A319s with options for 40 additional A320 Family aircraft.

Volaris' A319s will carry 144 passengers in a comfortable single class configuration and will be equipped with IAE engines.

The new A319s will be put into service on Volaris' domestic network, covering routes from its base at Toluca airport (Mexico City’s secondary airport) to destinations such as Monterrey or Tijuana. Volaris will start its operations in March 2006 with four leased A319s.

Volaris is an equal partnership between, Inbursa (a Mexican bank), Protego-Discovery (a Mexican investment fund), Taca (a leading Latin-American airline) and Televisa (a Latin- American broadcasting corporation).

On the occasion of the contract signature, Pedro Aspe, Chairman of Volaris declared: "The A319 is the ideal aircraft for the start-up of our operations as it will offer our passengers the highest levels of cabin comfort, whilst providing us with excellent economics and efficiency, which are essential for our development."

Gustav Humbert, CEO and President of Airbus, added: "Volaris' order today is again a proof of the extreme success of the A320 Family in high efficiency operations. We are extremely proud to have been selected by Volaris and we are convinced of their future success on the Mexican market."

With the most modern design of any single-aisle aircraft, the Airbus A320 Family is best placed to deliver the lowest running costs, making it the most economic aircraft in its class. And with the largest cabin, passengers get more space, comfort and overhead stowage space for their money, making the Airbus A320 Family the preferred aircraft on short-to-medium haul routes.

Firm orders for the Airbus A320 Family now stand at around 4,000 aircraft, making them the world's fastest and best-selling airliners of all times. The Airbus A320 Family has been ordered by, or is in service with, more than 200 customers and operators worldwide.

To date, 235 A320 Family aircraft have been ordered by eight customers in Latin America.

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 an EADS joint Company with BAE Systems.