Mexico's VivaAerobus set to confirm Airbus switch-sources

PARIS Thu Oct 17, 2013 3:52am EDT

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

The selection, first reported by Reuters in June, follows a bitterly fought contest between planemakers as the Mexican low-cost carrier becomes the latest to compare updated fuel-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 United Technologies unit Pratt & Whitney, whose engines compete with GE/Safran venture CFM to power A320 jets.

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

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