'Kingfisher in talks for Airbus A340'

Kingfisher has signed a deal to purchase 15 ATR 72-500 for $270 mn, with the option to buy another 20 of the short-haul aircraft.

india Updated: Feb 20, 2006 15:58 IST

India's privately owned Kingfisher Airlines is in negotiations with European aircraft manufacturer Airbus for the possible purchase of long-range A340 jets, the president of the airline's parent firm said on Monday.

"We are in discussions with Airbus" over the wide-body aircraft for use on India-US routes, the chairman of UB Group, Vijay Mallya, said.

"We haven't agreed on the price yet," Mallya said ahead of the opening Tuesday of Asian Aerospace, the world's third-largest airshow.

Kingfisher, a low-cost carrier which began operations in May, does not expect to announce new deals during this week's airshow, Mallya said.

Last year the company placed several Airbus orders -- five A380s, the world's largest commercial passenger liner, five A350s, a new long-range plane under development, five A330s and some 30 A319 and 320 smaller aircraft.

On Sunday, Kingfisher signed a deal to purchase 15 ATR 72-500 aircraft for $270 million, with the option to buy another 20 of the short-haul aircraft.

ATR is an equal partnership between Alenia Aeronautica (Finmeccanica group) and European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), which in turn owns 80 percent of Airbus. Britain's BAE Systems holds the other 20 percent.

Kingfisher has said it plans to go international when rules permit.

First Published: Feb 20, 2006 15:58 IST