Airbus gets record $24 billion order

Indonesia’s Lion Air is customer

Lion Air controls 45 percent of the growing domestic market in Indonesia.
Lion Air controls 45 percent of the growing domestic market in Indonesia.

PARIS — Airbus said Monday that it had received a record order for $24 billion worth of single-aisle jets from the Indonesian low-cost airline Lion Air, marking a significant inroad for the European plane maker into one of the fastest-growing air-travel markets in Asia, which until now has been dominated by its US rival, Boeing Co.

The order, for 234 of the popular A320- and A321-series jets, was announced by high-level executives of Airbus and Lion Air at a ceremony in Paris overseen by President Francois Hollande of France. The deal represents the largest single order of Airbus jets, both by value and number of planes.

Rusdi Kirana, the travel entrepreneur who founded Lion Air with his brother Kusnan in 2000, said the deal was the carrier’s first order from Airbus and included 60 current-generation A320s as well as 174 of a forthcoming series of A320s and A321s that will be use more fuel-efficient engines. Deliveries of the first planes, which sell for $92 million to $117 million each at list prices, were expected to begin in 2014.


The ceremony kicked off a series of events planned by the government this week to promote manufacturing in France, which is struggling amid the economic downturn in Europe. Airbus has its headquarters and final assembly lines in France.

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Hollande said the size of the aircraft order was a sign of ‘‘the vitality of the Indonesian economy’’ and held up Airbus as ‘‘an example of what we want to achieve across all of our industries’’ in France and Europe. The Lion Air contract, he said, was expected to guarantee at least 5,000 European aerospace jobs over the next 10 years.

Lion Air’s latest deal follows a flurry of jet orders announced last week, totaling more than $30 billion at list prices. Lufthansa, the German flag carrier, announced orders for more than 100 single-aisle and wide-body planes from both Airbus and Boeing, while Turkish Airlines said it would purchase up to 117 Airbus single-aisle planes. Ryanair, the Irish discount carrier, is also expected to reach a deal soon for up to $15 billion worth of Boeing 737 jets.

Kirana said Lion Air, which controls 45 percent of the domestic market in Indonesia, had 700 aircraft on order for delivery through 2027.

In 2011, President Obama attended the signing of a $22 billion sale of 230 Boeing 737 jets to Lion Air.