Tarom (RO, Bucharest Otopeni) could switch from a mixed-fleet operator to an all-Airbus (AIB, Toulouse Blagnac) operator following sales pitches from Boeing (BOE, Chicago O'Hare) and the European manufacturer concerning its fleet renewal plans.

Quoting sources close to the negotiations, Romania's inCont news site says as part of the deal, Airbus will buy back Tarom's existing fleet of four A318-100s, two A310-300s, four B737-300s, and four B737-700s with its sole B737-800 to be returned to its lessor.

In return, Airbus will arrange the requisite financing and, once all details are finalized, will this year begin re-equipping the Romanian national carrier with eight A319-100s, four A320-200s, two A321-200s, and two A330s. There are also plans to replace Tarom's fleet of seven ATR42-500s and two ATR72-500s with -600 variants of both types.

As an interim measure, Airbus will lease Tarom a fleet of jets, no older than 5 years of age, while its actual aircraft are undergoing assembly.

The actual agreement, which is still subject to finalization between the airline's board and the Romanian Ministry of Transport, has taken on a degree of urgency given the growth of budget carriers such as Wizz Air (W6, Budapest) and Blue Air (Romania) (0B, Bucharest Otopeni) in the region as well as Air Serbia (JU, Belgrade) in the full-service sector.