Airbus was finally popping the champagne at the Dubai Airshow with the announcement of a massive order worth $49.5bn.
This staggering amount will see the customer, Indigo Partners, purchase 430 A320 aircraft in Airbus' largest ever deal. A massive coup for sales leader John Leahy, it also tips the scales heavily in favour of Airbus in the race to announce the most jets sold over arch-rival Boeing, despite Boeing's $15bn Emirates score earlier in the week.
The purchaser, Indigo Partners, is an aviation-focused private equity group that plans to split the planes between its Wizz Air, Frontier Airlines and JetSmart companies. The breakdown of the order is 273 A320neos and 157 A321neos.
Airbus now faces the challenge of actually delivering the aircraft. This deal takes the A320 backlog to nearly 6,000 which will take almost a decade to work through and the company has been struggling to produce the jets already ordered.
Bill Franke, Managing Partner of Indigo Partners, said:
“This significant commitment for 430 additional aircraft underscores our optimistic view of the growth potential of our family of low-cost airlines, as well as our confidence in the A320neo Family as a platform for that growth,” said Bill Franke. “Our airlines know that a great aircraft coupled with a great business plan will create value for our customers. We look forward to bringing comfort and low fares to more passengers around the world as Wizz Air, Volaris, JetSMART and Frontier continue to expand.”
John Leahy said:
“Indigo Partners have been a tremendous customer and supporter of the Airbus single-aisle fleet for many years. An order for 430 aircraft is remarkable, but it’s particularly gratifying to all of us at Airbus when it comes from a group of airline professionals who know our products as well as the folks at Indigo Partners do. We are proud to augment their airline fleets in Latin America, North America and Europe with the single-aisle aircraft that offers the lowest operating costs, longest range and most spacious cabin: the A320neo Family.”