Airbus and IndiGo Settle Biggest Commercial Plane Deal

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Airbus wins the world's biggest commercial plane order. It's with an Indian domestic airline. Air traffic in India is growing at a fast pace, making it number one in the world aviation market.

Airbus has won the world's biggest commercial plane order on Wednesday. A $15.6 billion 180 aircraft deal with an Indian domestic airline called IndiGo.

Airbus said the deal is the biggest in aviation history by the most number of planes that have more than 100 seats.

The plane order includes 30 classic A320s, which carry 150 people on short and medium trips. The other 150 planes are upgraded versions called A320neo.

IndiGo said it would take the first delivery in 2015, and was considering an IPO to finance the purchase.

The aviation sector in India has close to a dozen carriers and is expanding fast as the economy revives the market for air travel.

[Kiran Rao, Executive Vice-President Airbus]:
"India has a population of about 1.1 billion people. The air traffic is growing at the rate of 15 percent per annum. So that makes it one of the fastest. Not 'one of' in fact. It makes it the fastest growing market in the world for air travel."

Analysts welcomed the deal.

[Jason Adams, Aerospace & Defence Analyst, Nomura]:
"So it's very good for the manufacturer. And for Indigo, I mean, it really does put them on a map. They currently only operate 32 aircraft. They have another 68 on order with Airbus. Now they're adding another 180. So they are looking to compete quite aggressively in the Indian market."

IndiGo is the third-largest domestic carrier by market share, after less than five years of flying.


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