The deal follows a two-day visit to the country by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The Tunisian national carrier’s 16 firm orders include three A350 long-haul aircraft, 10 A320 planes, and three A330s. The airline currently has a fleet of 30 aircraft.

France’s junior transport minister Dominique Bussereau, has also called for further collaboration with Tunisair, tying the airline to the French aerospace industry.