Air Pacific has decided to acquire two Airbus A330-300s and has taken options on two more, becoming a new customer for the market-leading A330/A340 Family. Deliveries of the aircraft are scheduled to begin in 2005.

Air Pacific will initially use the A330s on routes to Australia, Japan and New Zealand, introducing new standards of widebody comfort and, as its fleet grows, other destinations will be upgraded.

Each of Air Pacific's A330s will seat 24 passengers in business class and 292 in economy, with the latest standards of in-flight entertainment throughout. Engines have yet to be selected.

"We chose the Airbus A330 because it was the best aircraft for our routes in terms of economics, passenger appeal and capability," says Air Pacific Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer John Campbell. "The widespread use of, and support for, the Airbus A330/A340 family in the Pacific was also important."

The A330-300 offers an optimised cabin layout providing passengers with ample space, where space really matters. Airbus' A330/A340 Family sets the standard for today's passenger comfort, avoiding middle?seats in business class and ensuring that all economy class passengers are no farther than one seat away from an aisle.

"As Fijis national airline, Air Pacific has a proud heritage and history stretching back over fifty years," says Airbus President and Chief Executive Officer Nol Forgeard. "The airline is a major contributor to Fiji's economy, as well as its flourishing tourist industry, so we are naturally delighted to be part of Air Pacific's future with the Airbus A330."

Air Pacific is in good company with its choice of the A330/A340 family, since most of the major "flag carriers" in the region such as Aircalin, Air Tahiti Nui and Qantas are already flying them. Air New Zealand will also become an Airbus operator when it gets its first A320s later this year.

The A330?300s flexibility and efficiency results from its state-of-the-art technology, optimised wing design and the lowest fuel burn in its class. Together with low noise and emission levels, these features also contribute to environmentally-friendly operations.

Air Pacific's selection of the A330 further reinforces the remarkable success of the A330/A340 Family as the preferred medium to long?range aircraft among airlines worldwide. The A330/A340 Family has booked some 750 total orders from more than 60 customers to date. It has the most popular cabin in its class, consistently leading in independent passenger surveys.

Airbus is an EADS joint Company with BAE SYSTEMS.