North African airline Tunisair has made a firm order for an A319 Extended-Range for non-stop, scheduled, international services on its Middle East and African routes, and is hence to become the first operator for this configuration in Africa. This aircraft features an additional centre tank compared to the standard A319, increasing fuel capacity to boost range. In addition, Tunisair will retrofit up to three of its A319 already in operation to the Extended Range version.

The A319 Extended-Range allows Tunisair to operate a long-range aircraft, with a high level of customer comfort and unbeatable operational costs compared to other aircraft in the same category. Each A319 Extended-Range will offer 16 business class seats and 90 economy class seats, allowing Tunisair to offer a premium product. These aircraft will be powered by CFM-56-5B6 engines and will have a range of 3700 Nm corresponding to 8.5 flight hours

"With over 58 years of experience in the business, we know what to look for in a commercial aircraft, and the A319 Extended-Range is going to be a tremendous aircraft for our passengers and the airline, in terms of comfort and costs," says Mr Neji, President and CEO of Tunisair group. "Complementary to our A320s already in operation and performing greatly, it perfectly responds to our needs in terms of range, passenger capacity and operational costs and allows us to serve our longer range routes with exactly the right aircraft," he said.

Tunisair was one of the first airlines to operate Airbus aircraft. It built up its Airbus fleet from 1980 and now operates twelve A320s and three A300-600s. In another pioneering move, Tunisair is one of the first airlines to operate the A319 Extended-Range, profiting from Airbus continuous efforts for innovation and technological advancements.

Derived from the popular A319 airliner, first delivered in 1996, the A319 Extended-Range is an A320 Family member allowing Same Type Rating for pilots, qualifying them to fly on all A320 Family members, and a common maintenance policy. This provides Tunisair with an important cost advantage

Airbus' A320 Family features the most modern design plus the most spacious cabin of any aircraft in its class, delivering unmatched passenger comfort and unparalleled economy and reliability.

Airbus is an EADS joint Company with BAE SYSTEMS.