Mexico's VivaAerobus set to confirm Airbus switch-sources

Reuters

PARIS, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Mexican airline VivaAerobus is setto confirm next week an order worth up to $4 billion for 40Airbus A320-family jets as it defects from Boeing toAirbus, industry sources said.

The selection, first reported by Reuters in June, follows abitterly fought contest between planemakers as the Mexicanlow-cost carrier becomes the latest to compare updatedfuel-saving models designed to enter service in mid-decade.

Airbus and Boeing declined to comment.

The deal is also expected to mark a breakthrough for UnitedTechnologies unit Pratt & Whitney, whose engines competewith GE/Safran venture CFM to power A320 jets.

VivaAerobus uses a fleet of CFM-powered 737-300s, an earliergeneration of Boeing's most-sold passenger plane.

The Mexican carrier said in June it was studying proposalsfrom planemakers about the possible purchase of new aircraft.

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