Airbus SAS signed a contract to supply 200 of its A320neo jets to Malaysia's low-cost carrier AirAsia in a deal valued at about $18-billion in the largest single order of aircraft in history.
This surpassed a $15.6-billion order for 180 Airbus planes from India’s IndiGo airlines which was announced yesterday.
AirAsia is now Airbus’ biggest airline customer for its single-aisle product line.
“This landmark deal is the strongest endorsement yet of our decision to invest in the development of the A320neo,” Airbus Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders said at a press conference in Paris.
On the whole, AirAsia has placed orders for a total of 375 aircraft from Airbus, with 89 already in service.
With this historic deal, AirAsia has secured its future with the ability to meet the huge growth potential offered by the Asian market, said Tony Fernandes, chief executive of AirAsia.
Air Asia has its principal hub in Sepang, outside Kuala Lumpur, and flies to more than 20 countries.
Airbus, which is owned by European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. (EADS), is moving well ahead of its rival Boeing (NYSE: BA) due to the demand for more fuel-efficient aircraft, like the A320s.
Airbus indicated that it has so far sold about 700 A320neo jet, and expects that figure to rise to 1,000 by the end of the Paris Air Show where the latest deal was signed.