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Yemenia Airlines orders 10 Airbus

DUBAI, Nov 16 – European aircraft manufacturer Airbus and Yemen\’s national carrier signed Monday a Memorandum of Understanding for the purchase of 10 Airbus A320 units valued at 700 million dollars by book price.

The agreement was inked by Yemenia Airlines\’ member of the board of directors, Saleh Alawaji, and Airbus chief operating officer, John Leahy, on the second day of the Dubai Airshow.

The first delivery of the single-aisle planes is expected to take place by 2011, Leahy said.

He also said that he expected Yemenia to firm up the order within 30 days, but Alawaji pointed out that the deal has to "go to the board (of Yemenia) and get their blessing."

Leahy said that the value of the contract is 700 million dollars according to catalogue prices.

Yemenia had ordered 10 Airbus A350 XWB (Extra Wide Body) aircraft during the previous edition of the Dubai Airshow in November 2007 in a deal estimated to be worth two billion dollars.

But Yemen warned in July that it might reconsider its order after accusing France of not being "cooperative" over the crash of one of its Airbus A310s off the Indian Ocean archipelago of Comoros which killed 152 people.

The government of impoverished Yemen owns 51 percent of Yemenia\’s shares, while neighbouring oil-rich Saudi Arabia holds the rest.

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