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Airbus seals record 430-jet deal to outshine Boeing in Dubai

15 November 2017

The company is negotiating to sell 430 A320neo single-aisle planes valued at more than $40 billion to USA investor Indigo Partners, people familiar with the matter said. The Netherlands-based plane maker made the announcement Wednesday, following talks at the Dubai Air Show. The aircraft will go to airlines in Indigo's investment portfolio: Frontier Airlines, Mexico's Volaris, European carrier Wizz Air Holdings Plc and upstart JetSmart, which began operating this year in Chile. It was one of the industry's biggest deals by volume and the most planes ever sold by Airbus in one batch. To put it in perspective, a single airline with 430 planes would rank among the 10 largest carriers on the planet.

Previously, in 2015, Airbus landed its biggest single order for airliners when it agreed to sell 250 A320neos to Indian carrier IndiGo in a deal worth $26.6bn at list prices. Buyers typically receive discounts of 40% to 60% on the list prices, but can get even bigger reductions for really huge deals.

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It will also allow Airbus to overtake Boeing, with a total of 718 orders against its American rival's 605.

The deal marks a major coup for Airbus's Chief Operating Officer John Leahy, who is expected to leave the group soon at the end of a career in which he oversaw the sale of almost 15,000 planes. Franke, 80, signed the preliminary order at the Dubai Airshow.

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The deal includes 273 A320neo jets and 157 of the larger A321neo variant.

Wednesday's historic deal represents a final grand act for Airbus's chief salesman, John Leahy, who plans to retire from the company once a successor is selected. He sold tens of thousands of jetliners for the European plane maker, helping it draw alongside its big US rival in terms of both sales and deliveries.

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Airbus seals record 430-jet deal to outshine Boeing in Dubai