Business

Airbus sells record 430 planes for $68b at airshow

DUBAI Airbus landed its biggest airliner deal yesterday with an agreement to sell 430 planes worth up to US$50 billion (S$68 billion) to US budget airlines investor Bill Franke.

The preliminary deal for A320neo narrow-body jets was signed at the Dubai Airshow and offers a major boost to Airbus, which has lagged arch-rival Boeing in deals this year.

But Boeing immediately hit back with a provisional agreement to sell 175 planes to budget airline Flydubai. Including options to buy a further 50 planes, that deal could be worth US$27 billion at list prices.

The deal between Airbus and Mr Franke's Indigo Partners is the industry's largest by number of aircraft.

Indigo plans to supply the jets to four airlines in which it has stakes: Frontier Airlines, Mexico's Volaris, Chilean carrier JetSmart and Hungary's Wizz Air.

FINALISE

Airbus said it expects to finalise the deal with Mr Franke, 80, in the coming weeks.

The agreement, along with Flydubai's deal for Boeing's 737 Max narrow-body jets, underscores how budget carriers are rewriting the industry rule book by combining bargain fares with optional services and upgrades for which passengers pay extra.

Airbus also aims to sell more of its A380 superjumbo jets, with main customer Emirates seeking guarantees on keeping production lines open.

- REUTERS

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