Airbus Group SE reports that they are nearing the final stages of securing a monumental order for up to 100 jetliners from AirAsia Bhd. Sources close to the ground level have all but confirmed that this deal is imminent and is just a matter of getting a few more additional commitments from AirAsia who is their biggest single-aisle aircraft customer.
The deal could be announced as early as tomorrow at the Farnborough Air Show according sources who elected to remain unnamed due to the sensitive nature of the negotiations but it is almost a certainty given the amounts of undisclosed sources basically confirming the same details. Details have leaked that the purchase would likely involve the A321neo narrow-body aircraft which is listed at $125.7 million each with the caveat that buyers typically can further negotiate discounts especially for deals of this magnitude.
The Asian low-cost carrier has plans to utilize the narrow-body planes to provide stepped-up service to India. Tony Fernandes, Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia Group already has 304 single-aisle aircraft and 76 twin-aisle jets on order from the European plane maker as part of a plan to build a pan-Asian budget airline that is looking to capitalize on the surge of air travel happening across the continent. For their part and keeping with the tight-lipped nature of all parties involved in the deal, Sepang and Airbus has remained mum. The surge in air travel has spurred Asian budget carriers to purchase hundreds of jets from Airbus Group and rival Boeing in an attempt to satiate ever-growing demands.
Back in 2013, PT Lion Mentari Airlines ordered 234 planes from Airbus which was just the second time in history the carrier has purchased more than 200 aircraft. Just this past year the Indian budget airline IndiGo announced their commitment to purchase 250 Airbus planes. It’s a matter of when not if but the moment AirAsia’s potential purchase is formalized it will rank as the biggest news and one of the biggest orders to come out of the UK Farnborough International Airshow. For now the devil is in the details and we will just have to await the finalization of this monumental order.
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