The Azerbaijan flag carrier "Azerbaijan Hava Yollari" (AZAL) celebrated the delivery of its first Airbus A319 during a ceremony held at Heydar Aliyev International airport in Baku.

This is the first of four A319s, including an Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ), ordered by the State Concern of Civil Aviation (AZAL), all to be delivered before the third quarter of 2006.The airline already operates an A320 under an operational lease agreement.

All A320 Family aircraft in operation with AZAL are powered by CFM56-5 engines from CFM-International. AZAL's A319s offer a spacious, comfortable and flexible two-class layout, which can accommodate up to 122 passengers. Together with its partner-airlines AZAL operates in 60 countries worldwide and intends to deploy the A319s on its international routes from Baku to European capitals and destinations in Asia and Middle East.

"The A319s have been acquiring in frame of the state programme of the Azerbaijan's civil aviation development. These modern aircraft offer the high operational reliability and maximal passenger comfort", said Jahangir Askerov, General Director of AZAL.

"This delivery marks an important milestone in the fruitful relationship between Airbus and AZAL, one of the most prominent and growing airlines in the CIS," said Airbus President and CEO Gustav Humbert. "We are honoured that Azerbaijan's flag carrier has become our first customer in the Caucasus States and we are confident that the A319 will further boost the growth of AZAL."

The A319 is a member of Airbusí best-selling modern A320 Family of aircraft that offers airlines the advantages of Airbus fly-by-wire controls and operational commonality, with different configurations to adapt to each market. This allows maximum flexibility and improved aircraft and crew productivity. The A320 Family also offers many innovative features at no extra charge, such as advanced fuel saving aerodynamic, including winglets, weight saving carbon fibre composites, and centralised maintenance.

Airbus' A320 Family is the most successful aircraft family in the world, with nearly 2,500 aircraft in operation today with more than 159 operators world-wide. Firm orders for the Airbus A320 Family stand at over 3,600 aircraft.

Airbus is an EADS joint Company with BAE Systems.