The German airline Blue Wings, based in Düsseldorf, has decided to expand its operations with Airbus A320 Family aircraft and has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the European manufacturer for the acquisition of 20 aircraft. Cabin configuration and engine selection are still to be decided.

Blue Wings, in which Swiss investment holding Alpstream AG, based in Zurich, has a substantial shareholding, will increase its operations by starting new routes from Germany to destinations in Turkey and the CIS, primarily on behalf of tour operators. Alpstream AG is an affiliate of the Russian National Reserve Corporation.

"Blue Wings has already more than three years' experience of A320 and A321 operations. We are pleased with the Airbus products and believe that the aircraft are perfectly suited for us and our requirements," said Jörn Hellwig, CEO of Blue Wings.

Christian Streiff, Airbus President and CEO said: "Airbus is pleased to provide the required capacity to Blue Wings for opening up of new routes between Germany and destinations in Turkey and the CIS."

The A320 Family, recognized as the benchmark single-aisle aircraft family, includes the A318, the A319, the A320 and the A321 versions and features the newest and most modern design of any single-aisle airliner, with a passenger-pleasing cabin. By the end of June 2006, more than 4,300 Airbus A320 family aircraft have been ordered worldwide, making it the most successful and the best-selling aircraft. Almost 2,800 A320 Family aircraft have been delivered to around 180 operators worldwide so far.

Airbus is an EADS joint company with BAE Systems.