A low-cost airline in India has put in what Airbus is calling the largest order for jets in the history of commercial aviation. The airline says the new, more fuel-efficient planes are to keep up with rising demand.
The order includes 150 of Airbus' new A320neo models
European airplane manufacturer Airbus said on Tuesday it had received a massive order of 180 A320 single-aisle airplanes from Indian discount airline IndiGo, a sale worth some 12 billion euros ($15.6 billion).
"It is the largest single firm order number for large jets in commercial aviation history," Airbus said in a statement.
The order was broken down between 150 of the new A320neo versions, which have more fuel-efficient wing tips and engines, and 30 of the standard models. Airbus said it plans to start delivering the A320neos in 2016.
The A320 is Airbus' most popular single-aisle plane
"This order for industry leading fuel efficient aircraft will allow IndiGo to continue to offer low fares," said Rakesh Gangwal and Rahul Bhatia, co-founders of IndiGo, in a joint statement. Fuel savings from the more efficient aircraft were estimated at 15 percent.
The Gangwal and Bhatia said the increase in the A320s "was the natural choice to meet India's growing flying needs."
The A320 is Airbus' most popular single-aisle aircraft, with 4,500 already delivered to 310 airlines and another 1,300 on the order books. The plane maker unveiled the newer version only last month, and IndiGo's order makes it the model's premier customer.
Author: Andrew Bowen (AP, AFP, dpa)
Editor: Martin Kuebler