Brazil's Azul buys seven A330neo planes from Airbus to expand routes


By Gabriel Araujo

BARUERI, Brazil, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Brazilian airline Azul AZUL4.SA said on Friday it has purchased seven A330neo wide-body aircraft from Airbus AIR.PA in order to "significantly expand" its international services, with deliveries scheduled to start in 2026.

Azul, which currently flies to Paris, Lisbon, Curacao, a number of Uruguayan cities and Fort Lauderdale and Orlando, Florida, said the additional fleet renewal effort would help it reduce operating costs, including by burning less fuel.

"We expect to have a large expansion in international flights with this purchase," Azul CEO John Rodgerson said at an event celebrating the 15-year anniversary of the airline's first flight. "The idea is to have more Brazilian cities connected to cities outside the country."

Azul did not detail how much it would pay for the new aircraft, but Rodgerson noted that the A330neo's list price currently stands at around $250 million.

He added that all of Azul's international routes were currently profitable and doing "pretty well."

The company will decide on financing for the newly ordered aircraft "at the right time," Azul Chief Financial Officer Alex Malfitani said.

The airline expects to receive 19 new aircraft next year as part of its fleet renewal efforts, many of which are E2 jets manufactured by Brazil's Embraer EMBR3.SA, Rodgerson added.

(Reporting by Gabriel Araujo; Editing by Paul Simao)

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