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16 November 2017, 02:15 | Frank Carlson
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Airbus hailed its biggest ever airliner deal on Wednesday with an umbrella agreement to sell 430 planes worth up to $50 billion to US budget airlines investor Bill Franke.
Also on Wednesday, Airbus won a $49.5 billion order from Indigo Partners' portfolio of low-priced airlines that include Frontier, Wizz Air, Volaris, and JetSmart.
Wednesday's deal will see the 430 aircraft split between the Phoenix-based equity firm's Frontier Airlines and three other ultra low-priced airlines, including Mexico's Volaris; Hungary's Wizz Air; and Chile's JetSMART.
On the opening day of the show, overshadowed by the Emirates 787-10 deal - Boeing also announced an order from Azerbaijan Airlines for five more 787-8 Dreamliners and a commitment to purchase two large freighters, to be finalised at a later date. A320neos list for $108.4 million apiece and A321neos at $127 million.
The order, believed to be the biggest ever for Airbus, will more than double the value of the airline's sales for the year.
"Indigo Partners have been a tremendous customer and supporter of the Airbus single-aisle fleet for many years", said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers, Airbus Commercial Aircraft.
Buyers typically receive discounts of 40% to 60% on the list prices, but can get bigger reductions for huge deals. He said: "It's gratifying that [this order] comes from a group of airline professionals who know our products as well as the folks at Indigo Partners do".
The deal is expected to be officially announced later Wednesday at the Dubai Air Show, they added.
An anticipated order for A380 superjumbos worth $16 billion failed to materialize at the last moment on Sunday, forcing Emirates and Airbus into further talks to finalise a deal. The 67-year-old has overseen the sale of jets worth $1.7 trillion at list prices and helped to lift Airbus's market share from a mere 18 percent to stand roughly at par with Boeing.
The Indigo Partners deal is the single largest order by number of aircraft that any individual plane maker has received.
Emirates now relies exclusively on the Airbus 380 and the Boeing 777 for its flights, making it the largest operator of both. It has 165 777s in its fleet and took possession of its 100th A380 earlier this month.
The Emirates' snub even came up at the news conference Wednesday, when a reporter asked Airbus if another deal could be coming.
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