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Airbus: Singapore buys A330 air tankers, India in talks

Staff writer |
Airbus Defense and Space said it will supply six A330 MRTT refueling jets to Singapore's air force and that India was close to ordering another half dozen.

The deal brings the total number of converted Airbus jetliners sold as tankers to 34 worldwide after Australia, Britain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates previously placed orders.

India was in the "final stages of contractual negotiations for six aircraft," the company, a subsidiary of Airbus Group NV, said in a statement.

Airbus Group Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders told reporters in Washington that the Singapore order underscored the appeal of the MRTT tanker, although he acknowledged that the orders were far smaller than the 179 planes ordered by the U.S. Air Force from Boeing after a prolonged series of competitions.

Boeing said it was disappointed by the news, but remained committed to its longstanding relationship with Singapore. The company said it would also continue to vie for tanker orders elsewhere, including South Korea, which is expected to launch a formal competition in coming months.

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