Airbus clinches biggest order in its history


Airbus SE announced the biggest commercial-plane deal in its history, securing an order valued at almost US$50 billion for 430 planes from its single-aisle A320neo line and dramatically overshadowing the deals won by Boeing Co. The purchase would also mark a crowning achievement for Airbus sales chief John Leahy, who is set to retire after a multi-decade career in which he built an order book for thousands of aircraft and lifted the European planemaker into a duopoly position with its U.S. rival.

"This marks the culmination of months of work with the Airbus team", said Bill Franke, managing director of Indigo partners.

They said the record order would include A320neos and A321neos, with the deal to be officially announced later on Wednesday at the Dubai Air Show.

The planes aren't all for one airline.

Airbus has turned its fortunes around at the Dubai Airshow with a mammoth order of 430 jets worth a total $49.5 billion.

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Airbus says that 146 of the aircraft will go to Wizz Air, 134 to Frontier Airlines, 80 to Volaris and 70 to JetSmart. An order of 20 jets would be valued at US$8.7 billion while an order for 36 of the aircraft would be worth $15.7bn at list prices before discount.

American Airlines in 2011 ordered 460 new planes in a single deal, but that was spread between both Boeing and Airbus.

Wednesday's historic deal represents a final grand act for Airbus's chief salesman, John Leahy, who plans to retire from the company once a successor is selected.

The deal with Airbus takes Indigo Partner's orders with the plane manufacturer to over 900 aircraft.