Etihad, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, agreed on 24 aircraft, including four of the superjumbo A380 models, and has taken an option on 12 additional planes.

In addition to the four A380s, the memorandum covers four A340-600s, four A340-600s and 12 A330-200s, Airbus said in a statement on Tuesday

The A330-200 and A340-500 planes would be delivered in 2006 and the A340-600s and the A380s in 2007.

Airbus chairman Noel Forgeard, addressing a press conference at the Farnborough Air Show near London, did not provide details on the options sought by Etihad.

Etihad currently operates a fleet of six aircraft, including four Airbus A330-200s and one A340-300.