Brazil's Azul orders Airbus jets ahead of launch of overseas flights
CAMPINAS, Brazil, April 23 (Reuters) - Brazil's third-biggest airline, Azul Linhas Aereas, announced plans on Wednesday for a fleet expansion that includes an order for five wide-body aircraft from European planemaker Airbus to start international service to the United States.
Azul said it had placed an order for five Airbus A350-900 jets with deliveries starting in early 2017, which at current list prices is worth about $1.48 billion. It also plans to lease six Airbus A330-200s by early 2015, which is when it will start flights to the United States.
The Airbus order, first reported late on Tuesday by Reuters, was another blow to U.S. rival Boeing Co delivered by Brazil, Latin America's biggest market. Boeing also lost out on a coveted Brazilian fighter jet contract in December.
(Reporting by Brad Haynes; Additional reporting by Tim Hepher in Paris; Writing by Todd Benson; Editing by Peter Galloway)
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