After Boeing (BA) shocked the industry with a surprise deal with Emirates, rival Airbus (EADSY) responded Wednesday with a $49.5 billion aircraft order from US investor Indigo Partners at the Dubai Airshow, the largest in Airbus' history. The deal between Airbus and Franke's Indigo Partners is billed as the industry's largest by number of aircraft.
Boeing, the US aerospace company, said that FlyDubai of the United Arab Emirates has agreed to buy 175 of its 737 Max planes, along with rights to buy another 50.
The announcement came at the Dubai Air Show and the deal includes 273 A320neos and 157 A321neos.
The fund owns four ultra low cost airlines, amongst which the new fleet will be shared as follows: Wizz Air (Hungary) 72 A320neo, 74 A321neo; Frontier Airlines (USA) 100 A320neo, 34 A321neo; JetSMART (Chile) 56 A320neo, 14 A321neo, and Volaris (Mexico) 46 A320neo, 34 A321neo.
AerCap is the world's largest lessor of the Airbus A320neo; and the largest customer of the Boeing 787, with 116 on order and owned.
Boeing stole the early headlines with an order for 40 planes, worth $15 billion at list prices, from Dubai's Emirates airline on Sunday.
Though Boeing has dominated the show from the start, Airbus could not be written off, as Airbus sales chief John Leahy, known to be a veteran of last-minute air show surprises, was planning a blockbuster climax to a 20 plus year stint as marketing boss.
Airbus's preliminary deal was expected to be worth up to $50 billion, but the price could come further down by the time both parties agree to finalize the nuts and bolts of the deal.
The Gulf super-connector has hinted, along with many of its peers, that it sees the future in smaller more efficient aircraft.
The airline had announced orders for 288 planes as of the end of October.
The Airbus, Indigo Partners deal isn't just good news for the airplane manufacturer, it will also double the stock of planes across the Indigo Partners low-priced carrier group.
Boeing and AerCap, a Dublin-based aviation leasing company, also announced today that EgyptAir would lease six 787-9 Dreamliners.
The Boeing 787 will give Emirates a level of flexibility and economy that its larger Boeing 777-300ER and Airbus A380 fleet could not approach.