European aircraft manufacturer, Airbus, has confirmed a record deal to sell 180 aircraft to Indian budget airline IndiGo. According to Airbus the order was historically significant as it was ''…the largest single firm order number for large jets in commercial aviation history.''
The order, worth $15.6bn at list prices, includes 150 of Airbus's new A320 NEO jets, which is an upgraded variant of its popular single aisle A320 jet. IndiGo is also the launch customer for this particular model.
The A320 competes directly with the hugely successful Boeing 737.
The order also brings to an end all speculation that Airbus has been struggling to find orders for this fuel-efficient new model of aircraft, which it announced late last year. Airbus has been embroiled in a controversy with Boeing about the viability of upgraded, fuel-efficient versions of existing models as against developing entirely new models for the same slot. Boeing appears to prefer the latter option.
IndiGo's remaining 30 orders are for existing versions of the A320 jet.
The airline has earlier, in 2005, placed orders for 100 A320s worth $6.5bn at listed prices.