Airbus to sell 430 planes to US firm in €41bn deal

Airbus is to sell 430 planes to US firm Indigo Partners for $49.5 billion (€41.9 billion) in the European firm’s biggest deal ever.

The announcement came at the Dubai Air Show and the deal includes 273 A320neos and 157 A321neos.

The airlines that use the aircraft will include Frontier Airlines, based in Denver, JetSMART of Chile, Volaris in Mexico and Wizz Air of Hungary.

A320neos list for 108.4 million dollars (€91.7 million) apiece and A321neos at 127 million dollars (€107.4 million), although airlines and manufacturers often negotiate lower prices for big deals like these.

Indigo Partners is a Phoenix-based private equity firm which owns Frontier Airlines and part of Volaris.

It is managed by William Franke, a pioneer of the cheap tickets and high fees airline business model that has spread overseas and is growing in the US.

Airbus has its headquarters in Toulouse, France, and has major UK operations at Filton, near Bristol, and Broughton in North Wales.

Airbus’s biggest previous sale came in August 2015 when it sold 250 A320neos to Indian budget airline IndiGo, a deal estimated to be worth 26 billion dollars (€22.4 billion) at list prices.

IndiGo and Indigo Partners are separate firms with separate management.

Until today, the only major deal announced at the Dubai Air Show came on Sunday when long-haul carrier Emirates purchased 40 Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners in a 15.1 billion dollar (€12.8 billion) deal.

Airbus has pinned hopes of continuing production of its A380 double-decker jumbo jet on Emirates, the world’s largest operator of the aircraft. Reports circulated before the air show that a major A380 sale would be coming.

Airbus employees even filled a news conference on Sunday, expecting the A380 sale, instead to find state-owned Emirates making the deal with Boeing in front of Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Emirates now relies solely on the Airbus 380 and the Boeing 777, making it the largest operator of both. It has 165 777s in its fleet and took possession of its 100th A380 earlier this month.

AP

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