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Airbus secures record order from Indigo Partners

Investment group Indigo Partners has placed a historic order for hundreds of Airbus A320 jets at the Dubai Air Show. The deal looks set to shake up the low-cost industry and fuel the Boeing-Airbus rivalry.

European planemaker Airbus on Wednesday announced the sale of 430 of its medium-range A320 aircraft to US investment firm Indigo Partners in a deal worth more than $49 billion (€42 billion).

Both sides confirmed the record order included A320neos and A321neos, with the deal officially announced later at the Dubai Air Show.

It is biggest ever order for Airbus and will more than double the value of the company's sales for the year.

Watch video 01:35

Airbus hoping for superjumbo orders

Good news for Leahy

Airbus had announced orders for 288 planes as of the end of October. The deal with Indigo Partners will allow Airbus to overtake US rival Boeing.

Indigo Partners controls Denver-based Frontier Airlines and owns part of Mexico's Volaris. It's known for unbundled fares in ultra-low-cost airlines, where passengers are offered cheap base prices with the option of paying more for extras.

Wednesday's deal marks a major coup for Airbus CEO John Leahy, who is expected to leave the group soon at the end of a career in which he oversaw the sale of nearly 15,000 planes.

Only hours after the Airbus-Indigo Partners deal, Boeing announced an order from Gulf airline flydubai for 225 medium-haul 737 MAX aircraft with a list price of $27 billion, hailing it as the largest-ever single-aisle jet order from a Middle East carrier.

No-frills airline flydubai serves 95 destinations in 44 countries and is an all-Boeing carrier.

hg/jd (AFP, Reuters)

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