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JetBlue Orders 65 Airbus Planes

April 24, 2003

PARIS (AP) _ Low-cost carrier JetBlue Airways has ordered 65 planes from European aircraft maker Airbus with an option to purchase 50 more over the next eight years, Airbus said Thursday.

The New York-based airline placed a firm order for 65 Airbus A320s, the company’s single-aisle plane that seats between 107 to 185 passengers, Airbus said.

Based on the minimum list price for the planes, the deal is worth more than $6.6 billion.

Delivery of the new planes will begin in 2004 and run through 2011, Airbus said, adding that the order complements JetBlue’s current fleet of 41 A320s.

``In the post-Sept. 11 environment and the market complexities that have resulted, it is more critical than ever for the hard-hit U.S. airline industry to rebound,″ said JetBlue’s chief executive, David Neeleman.

``The best way for JetBlue to take part in this process is through controlled growth with safe, economical and comfortable aircraft,″ he said.

Shares in JetBlue rose $1.27, or 4.2 percent, to close Thursday at $31.44 each on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

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