Airbus wins record $18b AirAsia order

LE BOURGET — Airbus has won a record-breaking order for 200 of its A320neo jets, worth $18 billion, from AirAsia, capping a week where it has trounced rival Boeing in the fierce competition for plane contracts.

By (Reuters)

Published: Fri 24 Jun 2011, 11:12 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 4:51 AM

The massive contract is a show of force from Europe’s Airbus as it battles Boeing in the market for single-aisle jets — currently its A320 versus Boeing’s 737 — which is expected to be worth $2 trillion over the next 20 years.

The A320neo is a version of Airbus’s best-selling 15-seat passenger jet offering fuel savings with new engines from 2015 and will heap pressure on Boeing to take a decision to either rework its current offering or come up with something new.

The deal wrapped up a frenetic biennial air show which demonstrated a shift in the balance of power in the industry. AirAsia and IndiGo are now Airbus’s first and second largest airline customers, lagging only the US leasing giants ILFC and GECAS , and pushing Lufthansa into third place as an Airbus operator by fleet size.

“The runaway success of the neo exceeds Airbus’ expectations and it had to do the same with Boeing,” said aviation analyst Scott Hamilton.

“This increases the pressure on Boeing severalfold to get moving with a decision to re-engine or do a new plane.”

As champagne and calculators all but ran out, industry records were sent clattering like an airport departure board.

The AirAsia order eclipsed a $16 billion order for 180 aircraft from India’s Indigo, sealed on Wednesday, as the biggest ever civil aircraft order by the number of planes.

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