Airbus Inks Record Deal with Indigo for $49.5 Billion

Airbus has signed its largest individual deal for $49.5 billion with Indigo Partners an investment firm in the U.S. for 430 planes.

Indigo, whose interests include U.S. based Frontier, Europe based Wizz Air, and Mexico based Volaris, will purchase aircraft from the A320neo family by Airbus.

This order comes on the next to last day of the ongoing Dubai Airshow and what looked to be a subpar week for the aircraft maker.

On Sunday, it appeared that Airbus was snubbed by Emirates involving a deal for A380 superjumbo aircraft.

The deal with Indigo was signed on Wednesday with Bill Franke, who is 80 and the managing partner of Indigo, flying to Dubai for the ceremony. Final details of this deal still must be worked out.

Franke said the final details will be completed before the end of 2017.

The aircraft, whose wings are built in the UK, will be spread across the different airlines controlled by Indigo, which also includes Chile’s JetSmart.

Franke said Indigo operated an ultra-low cost model and to be successful a plane that can be worked hard is needed and Airbus fits that bill.

The deal with Indigo more than doubles the existing order book at Airbus for the year, which prior to the signing was at approximately 290 planes at the start of November.

The deal on Wednesday beat an order from 2015 of 250 planes that were valued at over $27 billion on IndiGo the budget carrier in India. The companies are not related.

Despite the large ticket price of the order by Indigo, airlines typically received discounts when they purchase in bulk.

Clinching this deals was considered a personal triumph for Airbus CEO John Leahy, who is retiring at the end of 2017 after working with the firm for 20 years and who had said prior to the airshow he wanted to sign one more big deal prior to leaving the company.

While with Airbus he has sold over 15,000 aircraft valued at more than $1.7 trillion.

The announcement by Airbus beat the order unveiled earlier in the week by Boeing, which signed a $40 billion deal with Emirates for 787 Dreamliners.

The announcement was expected to be alongside an order by Emirates of A380s., but the announcement of the A380s was cancelled just prior to a press conference being convened. Most believe that the airline asked for changes at the last minute.

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