Airbus is closing 2017 with three orders for A320 family aircraft totaling nearly $60 billion at list prices. Customers include China Aircraft Leasing Group Holdings, AerCap, and Indigo Partners.
China Aircraft Leasing Group Holdings signed to buy 50 A320neos worth $5.4 billion at list prices, while AerCap ordered another 50 A320neos.
Indigo Partners, a private equity firm based in Arizona, finalized an order for 430 Airbus A320neo family aircraft. The planes will be operated by four low-cost carriers affiliated with the firm. The order, which was first announced at the Dubai Airshow last month, includes 274 A320neos and 156 A321neos. At list prices, the deal is worth $49.5 billion. Engines for the purchase will be selected at a later date.
The four Indigo airlines that will receive a portion of the planes include Wizz Air, Frontier Airlines, JetSMART, and Volaris. Wizz will take 72 A320neos and 74 A321neos; Frontier will receive 100 A320neos and 34 A321neos; JetSMART will receive 56 A320neos and 14 A321neos, and Volaris will take 46 A320neos and 34 A321neos. Of the four carriers, Indigo owns Frontier and JetSMART and is an investor in Wizz and Volaris.
“These customer-friendly and efficient A320neo Family aircraft form a great platform for continued growth for our family of ultra-low-cost airlines,” said Bill Franke, Managing Partner of Indigo Partners. “The Indigo Partners team looks forward to creating even more value for even more passengers around the world with these modern and efficient aircraft.”
Airbus says the Indigo order is the largest in its history, and the scale of the order means that customers will be able to negotiate large discounts. Wizz confirmed that it had received discounts on the 146 planes that it will receive, which would be worth $17.2 billion without discounts.
Planes will be delivered in stages until 2026.
“The A320neo Family offers the lowest operating costs, longest range and most spacious cabin in the single-aisle aircraft market, making the ‘NEO’ a great choice for these low-cost airlines in the Americas and Europe,” John Leahy, Airbus’ Chief Operating Officer, Customers, said in a statement.
These last-minute orders mask a year that has been hard on orders of large planes. Speculation is arising that production of the A380 aircraft could be cut due to a lower number of orders unless Emirates, a UAE airline that is the largest carrier of the A380, agrees to buy additional jets. Though Airbus calls the rumors around the A380 pure speculation, the manufacturer has failed to land an order of the aircraft for two years and is slowing the production rate of the plane to just six per year.
Featured image from Wikimedia Commons