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Dubai Airshow: Airbus seals order with US firm Indigo

From BBC - November 15, 2017

Airbus has struck its biggest single deal with an order for 430 aircraft worth $49.5bn at list prices from US investment firm Indigo Partners.

Indigo, whose interests include Europe's Wizz Air, US-based Frontier, and Mexico's Volaris, will buy Airbus's A320neo family of aircraft.

The order on the penultimate day of the Dubai Airshow comes after what could have been a difficult week for Airbus.

On Sunday, Emirates appeared to snub Airbus over an A380 superjumbo deal.

Indigo's managing partner, Bill Franke, 80, flew to Dubai for the signing ceremony, although there are still final details of the deal to be worked out.

He said these should be completed by the end of the year.

'Fits the bill'

The Airbus aircraft, whose wings are made in the UK, will be deployed across Indigo's airlines, which also includes JetSmart in Chile.

They operate what Mr Franke called an "ultra-low cost model... To be successful you have to have a plane that can be worked hard. Airbus fits the bill."

The Indigo deal more than doubles Airbus's existing order book for the year, which stood at about 290 aircraft as of the end of October.

Wednesday's deal beats a 2015 order for 250 single-aisle planes valued at $27bn by Indian budget carrier IndiGo. The two companies are unrelated.

Despite the headline list price of the Indigo order, airlines typically get discounts on bulk-buys. "Regretfully, Indigo will not be paying $49.5bn," said Airbus sale chief John Leahy when asked about discounts.

Clinching the deal was seen as a personal triumph for Mr Leahy, who retires at the end of the year after 20 years at Airbus and who had said he hoped to clinch one more big order before going.

Emirates concerns

Analysis by Dominic O'Connell, Today business presenter

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