Airbus to sell 430 planes to Phoenix-based Indigo for $49.5B


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Airbus signed a $49.5 billion deal today to sell 430 airplanes to the Phoenix-based private equity firm that owns Frontier Airlines, striking the European aerospace company's biggest deal ever at the Dubai Air Show.

Meanwhile, Boeing reached an agreement with low-cost carrier FlyDubai to sell 225 Boeing 737 MAX 10 aircraft – a deal valued at $27 billion. The developments came ahead of the biennial air show closing on Thursday.

"It's ended up going out on a high," airline analyst John Strickland of JLS Consulting said. "It shows once again the importance of this part of the world to the big airplane manufacturers."

The Airbus deal with Indigo Partners will see 273 A320neos and 157 A321neos split up among Denver-based Frontier, JetSMART of Chile, Volaris of Mexico and Wizz Air of Hungary, all ultra-low-cost airlines associated with Indigo.

The A320neo and the A321neo are twin-engine, single-aisle planes popular among airlines because of their reduced fuel consumption.

The surprise announcement came after Airbus on Sunday suffered the embarrassment of believing it had struck a major deal with the state-owned carrier Emirates to sell its A380 double-decker jumbo jet, only to see Boeing sit on the podium with the airline and sign a $15.1 billion deal.

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