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Frontier Airlines has received approval to defer the purchase of seven single-aisle Airbus planes for two years, according to US bankruptcy court documents.
The order for Airbus A318 and A319 planes, worth more than USD$400 million at list prices, was booked in 2000. The deferral comes as Airbus and rival Boeing face the growing threat of large-scale order cancellations and postponements as their airline customers reel from high fuel prices and an economic downturn.
Under an order issued by federal bankruptcy court in New York, some of Frontier's deposits on the planes will be returned to repay lenders.
Denver-based Frontier, one of the leading US regional carriers, went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April as the price of fuel surged and its credit card processor said it would withhold more proceeds from ticket sales.
The company is still operating in bankruptcy, but like other airlines, is cutting back on flights to save on fuel costs, meaning it needs fewer planes than it previously planned to operate.