Airbus lands biggest-ever order with $49.5bn deal for 430 airliners

Violet Tucker
November 16, 2017

Boeing, the US 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. The developments came ahead of the biennial air show closing on Thursday.

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

Bill Franke, Managing Partner of Indigo Partners, and a man widely credited with creating the ultra low cost carrier sector, said: "This 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".

On Tuesday, the company announced an order from Ethiopian Airlines for four 777 Freighters, taking the carrier's fleet from six to 10.

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. A320neos list for $108.4 million apiece and A321neos at $127 million. "Their objective is to sell aircraft at the best possible and our objective is to buy aircraft at the best possible price". "I think both sides will take stock and see if something can be agreed later this year", an industry source told Reuters. IndiGo and Indigo Partners are separate firms with separate management. That includes Frontier Airlines in the United States. Franke was previously the chairman and chief executive of America West, which was acquired by U.S. Airways in 2005. Including options to buy a further 50 planes, that deal could be worth $27 billion at list prices. FlyDubai said the planes would bring the low-priced carriers total fleet on order up to 320.

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

The order for Dubai's flydubai, meanwhile, follows orders placed in 2008 and 2013, bringing the total number of aircraft the airline has on order, to 320.

The deal was worth $49.5 billion at list prices.

With this, Airbus stole Boeing's day-one thunder (Emirates $15.1b order for 787-10s) at the this year's Dubai Air Show.

So far, there's been little news for Airbus, which has pinned hopes of continuing production of its A380 double-decker jumbo jet on Emirates, the world's largest operator of the aircraft.

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Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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