Airbus lands biggest-ever contract for 430 A320s

Lucy Hill
November 16, 2017

Announcing the deal on Wednesday (15 November), Airbus said United States investment firm Indigo Partners would be buying 430 aircraft A320s worth $49.5bn (£37.6bn) on catalogue prices, though a bulk-buy order of this size would carry discounts.

The deal represents the largest single order for Airbus planes by volume and comprises 273 A320neos and 157 A321neos, worth a combined $49.5 billion at list prices. Indigo said the jets would go to Frontier Airlines, Mexico's Volaris, East European operator Wizz Air and Chile's JetSmart.

Boeing, the USA aerospace company, said that FlyDubai of the United Arab Emirates has agreed to buy 175 of its 737 Max planes, along with rights to buy another 50.

Airbus sales chief John Leahy, who is expected to retire at the end of the year, joked about that turn of events when today's sale was announced. However, airlines and manufacturers typically negotiate discounts on such deals.

The flurry of orders for the global rivals came at the Dubai Air Show, one of a series of worldwide events where the two companies like to clinch big deals.

The mammoth deal puts Indigo Partners among the biggest customers by order number for Airbus single-aisle aircraft. IndiGo and Indigo Partners are separate firms with separate management.

The Airbus, Indigo Partners deal isn't just good news for the airplane manufacturer, it will also double the stock of planes across the Indigo Partners low-priced carrier group.

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The battle of the plane makers is heating up this week.

Boeing 777 freighters have a list price of $325.7 million.

Until yesterday, the only major deal announced at the Dubai Air Show came on Sunday, when long-haul carrier Emirates purchased 40 Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners in a $15.1 billion deal.

But the biggest order by value came from Emirates airline of Dubai in 2013.

Emirates President Tim Clark urged Airbus SE to make firm commitments on the future of its A380 airliner, demanding certainty before placing a follow-up order that production will continue until all aircraft are delivered.

Emirates now relies exclusively on the Airbus 380 and the Boeing 777, making it the largest operator of both. It has 165 Boeing 777s in its fleet today and took possession of its 100th A380 earlier this month.

The Emirates' snub even came up at the news conference Wednesday, when a reporter asked Airbus if another deal could be coming.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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