Airbus Announces Nearly $50 Billion Deal



Gulf Today reported that Airbus announced the largest single deal in its history, valued at $49.5 billion with Indigo Partners to purchase 430 aircraft in its A320neo family.

The U.S. aerospace company said that FlyDubai of the United Arab Emirates has committed to buy 175 of its 737 Max planes and will have the rights to buy another 50.

"It's ended up going out on a high", airline analyst John Strickland of JLS Consulting said.

Investment group Indigo Partners has bought the Airbus machines to use in its "low-cost" plane rental service, which was founded by the American, Bill Franke; considered to be one of the airline industry's most influential figures.

The A320neo and the A321neo are twin-engine, single-aisle planes popular among airlines due to their reduced fuel consumption.

In just three deals, 695 planes were sold with a book value of $92 billion.

The UAE Ministry of Defence also announced a 250 million dollars purchase deal for five Airbus CN295 tactical airlifter aircraft.

Later on Wednesday, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of flydubai, signed an agreement between Boeing and flydubai for the 225 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, saying: "Today's order underlines the success of flydubai's founding vision in changing the way people travel across the region". FlyDubai has begun to code-share flights with Emirates; both airlines are owned by Dubai's government.

Speaking at the Dubai Airshow Tuesday, the Chief Executive of Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde Gebremariam, said the deal underlined the vitality of air traffic in North Africa. Airbus and Emirates are closely linked on the A380, with the Gulf carrier relying on the aircraft to fuel its global growth ambitions, and Airbus needing Emirates' continued backing as the de-facto only buyer of the plane. Reports circulated before the air show that a major A380 sale would be coming.

Ethiopian Cargo is the largest network cargo operator in Africa with six 777 and two 757 Freighters serving 39 cargo destinations in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe. It has 165 777s in its fleet and took possession of its 100th A380 earlier this month.

On Sunday, Emirates appeared to snub Airbus over an A380 superjumbo deal.

"I think you've got to walk over to the chalet with Emirates on the door and ask them", Airbus' Leahy said.

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