Source Pravda.Ru

Lufthansa is going to spend $1.3 billion.

Europe's second-biggest airline Lufthansa may announce an order to buy 10 planes worth as much as $1.3 billion as early as next week for 253-seat A330-200 models. The order comes as Airbus and Boeing Co. compete fiercely for contracts after the Sept. 11 hijackings hurt demand for new planes. Declines in share prices have raised concerns that a recovery in air travel might be slowed. At the same time, airlines plan fleet needs several years ahead. The German carrier will probably announce a plane order next week and pick the engines later on, the people familiar said. Lufthansa surprised analysts in May by choosing Rolls-Royce engines to power 550-seat A380s that the airline will begin flying in 2007. Brodie said ``there would be a certain logic'' to Lufthansa choosing Rolls-Royce engines for the two-aisle A330s. The carrier currently operates 12 Airbus A300 and four A310 planes, which the A330s would probably replace. The new aircraft would also be able to operate on some routes where Lufthansa now flies four-engine planes. The airline now has a fleet of 353 planes, including 70 regional jets seating fewer than 100 each and 283 larger commercial airliners. The company grounded 63 planes when traffic dropped after Sept. 11 and has brought 18 back into service. Airbus and Boeing have been cutting prices to win orders as the airline industry

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