Published: Fri, June 21, 2019
Finance | By Kristine Clayton

Airbus signs deals for over 360 aircraft during four day Paris Airshow

Airbus signs deals for over 360 aircraft during four day Paris Airshow

American Airlines is buying 50 of Airbus' newest long-range plane in a big boost for the just-launched A321XLR.

Neither American Airlines nor Airbus would disclose the financial terms of the deal, but American Airlines President Robert Isom says the XLR will initially cost the airline more than the A321neo.

The worldwide grounding in March of Boeing's fast-selling aircraft followed a crash in Indonesia and another in Ethiopia that triggered one of the worst crises in the company's more than 100-year history.

The memorandum of understanding includes 32 new orders and 18 conversions of existing A320 family orders.

In particular, the rise of the single-aisle, long-distance jet involves revisiting years of industry marketing about the benefit of roomier cabins to counter jet lag on long trips.

Boeing is set to compete with that Airbus offering, but its fleet's announcement was reportedly delayed due to the ongoing 737 Max debacle.

After years of bullish demand for jets, both Boeing and Airbus already have substantial number of orders that are yet to be delivered.

Saudi Arabian Airlines, the kingdom's national airline, said on Tuesday it had ordered 65 A320neo-type aircraft from Airbus, worth more than $7.4 billion at list prices, giving an early boost to the European manufacturer at the Paris Air Show.

Bill Franke's Indigo will parcel out the XLRs it ordered to three airlines in its stable of discounters: Budapest-based Wizz Air Holdings Plc, Eastern Europe's biggest discount airline, Frontier Airlines of the US, which aims to fly them coast to coast and could add Hawaii and Alaska, and Chile's JetSmart.

Boeing said IAG, whose single-aisle fleet is now made up nearly exclusively of Airbus A320 aircraft, was turning to the 737 MAX "as part of diversifying its future fleet to spur competition". The letter of intent Boeing signed with International Air Group (IAG) for 200 MAX jets gave the troubled aircraft maker a much-needed spike in the court of buyer opinion.

"The A321XLR is the next evolutionary step from the A321LR, which responds to market needs for even more range and payload, creating more value for the airlines", Flynas' statement said. He voiced concerns about trade tensions and the growing risk of a no-deal Brexit.

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