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PARIS: European planemaker Airbus yesterday announced a record order worth ¤18.4bn ($23.8bn) from the Indonesian company Lion Air for 234 medium-range A320 jets.
Lion Air, Indonesia’s largest private carrier and one of the world’s fastest growing airlines, is a new client for Airbus as it has previously been equipped almost exclusively by US rival Boeing.
French President Francois Hollande said a deal that he described as the biggest in the history of civil aviation would create 5,000 jobs in France over the next 10 years.
The agreement, hailed as “historic” by Hollande, was signed at the president’s official residence, the Elysee Palace, by Airbus head Fabrice Bregier and his Lion Air counterpart Rusdi Kirana.
Lion Air is to buy 60 classic A320 planes. The rest of the contract involves the new, more fuel-efficient Neo version of the A320 series, which has a catalogue price tag of more than $100m, though discounts are common for large orders.
According to the Elysee, the A320s currently under production will be delivered from next year while the Neos will be supplied from 2016. “These are impressive figures which honour European industry and bear witness to the vitality of the Indonesian industry,” Hollande said.
“Airbus is the pride of France and Europe. It is one of the pillars of our economy and directly employs 24,000 people,” he said.
The news comes just days after Airbus unveiled an order potentially worth $15.5bn from Turkish airlines for up to 117 planes. That order also centred on Airbus’s best-selling, twin-engine A320 family. AFP