Airbus lands massive order for 430 A320neo-family aircraft

The MOU more than doubles the 427 orders for the A320 family previously placed by the four carriers.

Airbus signed an MOU Nov. 15 for 430 A320neo-family aircraft, to be split between the four airlines in Arizona-based private equity and venture capital firm Indigo Partners’ portfolio. The order, once firmed, will be worth $49.5 billion at list prices.

The aircraft will be split between ULCCs Frontier Airlines (US), JetSMART (Chile), Volaris (Mexico) and Wizz Air (Hungary) after final purchase agreements between Airbus and the four airlines have been concluded.

The MOU more than doubles the 427 orders for the A320 family previously placed by the four carriers.

The new commitment, comprising 273 A320neos and 157 A321neos, was announced at the Dubai Air Show by Indigo Partners managing partner Bill Franke and Airbus COO-customers John Leahy. When added to existing Airbus A320 family orders, the new agreement will make Indigo Partners one of the largest customers by order number in the world for the Airbus single-aisle aircraft family.

Under the latest order Wizz Air will take 72 A320neos, and 74 A321neos; Frontier will have 100 A320neos and 34 A321neos; JetSMART, 56 A320neos and 14 A321neos; while Volaris will acquire 46 A320neos and 34 A321neos.

The huge order lessens the disappointment in the Airbus camp at the lack so far this week at the air show of a hoped-for order for additional A380s from the type’s largest customer, Emirates Airline.

“This significant commitment for 430 additional aircraft underscores our optimistic view of the growth potential of our family of low-cost airlines, as well as our confidence in the A320neo family as a platform for that growth,” Franke said. He added that engine choices for the aircraft would be made at a later date.

“Indigo Partners have been a tremendous customer and supporter of the Airbus single-aisle fleet for many years,” Leahy noted. “An order for 430 aircraft is remarkable, but it’s particularly gratifying to all of us at Airbus when it comes from a group of airline professionals who know our products as well as the folks at Indigo Partners do.”

Source: ATW/ November 2017

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