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Ethiopian Airlines buys 12 Airbus A350s

DUBAI, Nov 15 – Ethiopian Airlines and Airbus signed Sunday an agreement firming up an order for 12 long-range A350 aircraft valued at around three billion dollars by list price.

The deal was inked by Airbus president and chief executive Tom Enders and Ethiopian Airlines counterpart Girma Wake on the sidelines of the Dubai Airshow which opened amid doubts orders will match previous editions of the biennial show.

"We believe in what we heard about A350 XWB (Extra Wide Body), and I think it will serve our market very well," Wake told reporters.

He said delivery of the first unit of the aircraft was planned for 2017, but indicated his carrier might opt to lease similar planes in the meantime.

Airbus chief operating officer John Leahy said the deal\’s value at book price amounted to three billion dollars. He did not clarify if Ethiopian Airlines was offered a discount.

Ethiopian Airlines had signed a memorandum of understanding for the 12 units in July.

Leahy also told reporters that Airbus did not have any "distressed" orders for the A350 XWB resulting from the global economic crisis.

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