Airbus to sell 430 planes to USA firm in £37.5bn deal

Alicia Cross
November 16, 2017

Paris: Airbus is due to announce the sale of 430 of its medium-range A320 family of aircraft to USA investment firm Indigo Partners in a deal worth more than $40 billion, a source said Wednesday. The deal will spread the jets out across Frontier Airlines in the U.S., Mexico's Volaris, Wizz Air of Hungary and newcomer JetSmart of Chile.

Ethiopian Airlines announced an order for four Boeing 777 freighters in a deal valued at more than $1.3 billion at list prices.

With the Dubai show winding down, Airbus' mega-sale made up for its disappointment earlier this week when a big sale of A380 jets to Emirates Airline failed to come together.

Even though the order helps lift Airbus out of a sales slump, Indigo didn't agree to this deal to be altruistic. Including options to buy a further 50 planes, that deal could be worth $27 billion at list prices. The aircraft will be delivered in 2018 and 2019.

Similarly, Airbus could see yet more orders before the year is out: this week it signed a provisional agreement with Kuwaiti company Wataniya Airways - which operates medium-haul flights across Europe and the Middle East - for a possible order of 25A320neo jets.

With the Airbus order, Indigo Partners, a US -based private equity fund, has doubled its existing order of 427 A320 family aircraft.

EgyptAir signed Wednesday a big deal to buy 21 Boeing and Airbus planes from U.S. AirCap corporation, EgyptAir chairman described them as "the largest deal in EgyptAir history".

Emirates Boeing 787 10
Politically shrewd A rendering of an Emirates Boeing

Indigo Partners is a US-based private equity group that invests in airlines.

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

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.

Landing such a massive deal is a coup for John Leahy, Airbus's chief salesman who is due to retire in the next few months.

Boeing had a strong lead on its European rival in total orders for this year going into the Dubai event.

The blockbuster finale to the main part of the November 12-16 show lifted a despondent mood that had settled over the Airbus chalet when a deal for A380 superjumbos collapsed on day one.

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