Airbus has landed a record aircraft order, with a contract worth $15.6bn (£9.7bn) at list prices to supply 180 of the A320 family of jets to IndiGo, India's biggest low-cost carrier.
The order, which firms up January's memorandum of understanding (MoU), includes 150 of the upgraded A320neo model – a design Airbus claims is 15pc more fuel efficient thanks to a new engine and modified wingtips, known as "sharklets".
Airbus commercial chief John Leahy called the deal "the largest transaction in civil aviation ever done" - in terms of aircraft numbers. It topped 2005's orders from China's Central Aircraft Sales Corp for 150 aircraft each from Airbus and Boeing.
IndiGo, headed by Aditya Ghosh, was not alone in opting for the 140-150 seat A320neo, whose popularity has grown with rocketing fuel prices. Chile's LAN Airlines also placed a firm order for 20 A320neos.
Further deals are in the offing. Republic Airways Holdings, the parent company of US-based Frontier Airlines, signed an MoU for 40 of the new aircraft plus a similar number of A319neos. ALAFCO, the Kuwait-based Aviation Lease and Finance Company, also signed an MoU for 30 A320neos.
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