Wednesday 21 March 2018

Airbus wins record €18bn order from Lion Air for 234 planes

Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

EUROPEAN plane manufacturer Airbus has signed its largest ever order, a deal worth €18.4bn to supply low-cost Indonesian carrier Lion Air with 234 single-aisle passenger aircraft.

The contract for the A320 planes trumps the agreement signed by rival US manufacturer Boeing with Lion Air in 2011 for 201 planes worth $22bn. Lion Air has traditionally been a Boeing customer.

French President Francois Hollande called the deal "the biggest for Airbus in terms of the number of aircraft and the overall sum".

While below a recent peak, airplane demand remains robust as airlines and lessors modernise their fleets in a bid to drive down fuel costs. Demand from emerging markets like Indonesia and India continues to grow strongly.

Lion Air has been rapidly growing its fleet because it needs medium-haul jets to service the growing aviation market in Indonesia, the world's fourth most populous country.

Airbus chief operating office John Leahy said: "We've always wanted to be a big player in Indonesia. Boeing's been dominant there for a long time."

This contract is the third major order for A320 aircraft in recent weeks.

Airbus has won more than 2000 contracts for the revamped 'Neo' series of the A320, the newest most fuel-efficient of its type.

The most recent order includes 173 A320 'Neos' as well as 60 'classic' planes.

It reignites concerns about whether Airbus can supply all of its orders on time. Mr Leahy says that recent orders for the A320 have increased pressure to review build rates.

Irish Independent

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