Airbus seals largest plane order ever at Dubai Airshow

Airbus seals largest plane order ever at Dubai Airshow

The airline had announced orders for 288 planes as of the end of October.

The sale includes 430 airplanes, including 273 A320neos and 157 A321neos, to Indigo Partners.

The announcement, made at the Dubai Air Show, came just hours after rival Airbus said it had secured the biggest-ever order in its history to supply 430 medium-haul A320s to U.S. investment firm Indigo Partners at a catalogue price of USD49.5 billion (42 billion euros). The planes will be used by Kuwait's resurrected Wataniya Airlines.

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Indigo Partners, a US-based private equity fund, has doubled its existing order of 427 A320 family aircraft.

But in relation to long-haul planes, US rival Boeing as the Seattle-based and New York-stock listed firm, sealed on day one the sale of 40 Boeing 787-10 wide-body planes to Emirates Airline, the largest long-haul carrier in the world for 15.1 billion dollars. To put the deal in a larger context, a single airline with 430 planes would rank among the 10 largest carriers on the planet. That's why the deals here are mostly multi-billion dollar newsworthy ones.

The stunning magnitude of the deal - which Airbus called its "largest single commercial announcement ever" - caught many in the aviation industry by surprise. Dubai is geographically at the centre of the global aviation world, and Dubai Airshow is where the sector comes to do business. The deal was signed earlier on Wednesday, with U.S investor Bill Franke increasing his bet on budget airlines.

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Leahy, a smooth-talking New Yorker, became a famous thorn in the side of Boeing and other Airbus rivals during his more than 20 years in the job. The new jets will be divided among its Frontier Airlines, JetSMART, Volaris and Wizz Air carriers.

The deal is expected to be officially announced later Wednesday at the Dubai Air Show, they added.

Leahy is set to retire in the coming months after serving as sales chief for the European planemaker since 1994.

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