Airbus SE received a mega-order for 255 narrow-body jets from a constellation of discount airlines that count Bill Franke’s Indigo Partners LLC as their top shareholder.
The follow-on deal for A321 models, the larger version of Airbus’s top-selling narrow-body family of jets, was announced Sunday at the Dubai Airshow. It is valued at more than $30 billion before typical industry discounts.
Wizz Air Holdings Plc, the European low-cost carrier targeting market expansion coming out of the coronavirus pandemic, will take the biggest share of the batch, ordering 102 planes. Bloomberg reported in September that the company was weighing a commitment.
Denver-based Frontier Group Holdings Inc. will buy 91 jets, while Mexico’s Volaris Aviation Holding and JetSmart Airlines SpA of Chile ordered 39 and 23 planes, respectively.
The agreement makes a powerful argument for Airbus as it seeks to persuade suppliers to gear up for an acceleration of narrow-body output past pre-Covid 19 levels over the next few years. The order is already baked into the planned ramp-up, the European planemaker’s chief executive officer, Guillaume Faury, said at the signing ceremony.
The bulk of the deliveries will take place from 2025 onwards. Franke, who was also present in Dubai, said he had an optimistic view of the market and wanted to be early in the process.
The Wizz order includes 27 of the longest-range XLR variants, according to an Airbus statement. JetSmart will take two XLRs, and upgrade 38 A320neo orders to A321s.
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