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State-owned EgyptAiron 9 August announced that it had concluded a deal potentially worth $850 million with The Boeing Companyof the US for the purchase of up to 12 new 737-800 aircraft. An order for six aircraft has been firmly placed, while the purchase of another six is optional. The new planes each have capacity for 159 passengers and will be used on EgyptAir’s Europe and Middle East routes. They will be delivered between September 2006 and the end of 2009. The carrier operates one of the industry’s youngest fleets, including four Boeing 737-500s, five 777-200s and two 747-300s. EgyptAir will also take delivery in 2006 of four A320s from Europe’s Airbuswhich will replace four A321s (MEED 10:6:05).