"This landmark deal is the strongest endorsement yet of our decision to invest in the development of the A320neo and further consolidates the market-leading position of the Airbus single aisle product line," said Tom Enders, president of Airbus, on Thursday.
The order from the Asia-Pacific low-cost carrier is the largest ever for Airbus' A320 family and will make AirAsia the biggest customer for Airbus' single aisle jets worldwide.
The request pushed Airbus' backlog for its A320neo to more than 1,000 commitments. Airbus launched its updated A320neo, which will save carriers about 15 percent in fuel use, last December.
The European jet maker said requests for the A320neo also gave Airbus its most successful Paris Air Show ever with 730 orders and commitments, estimated at $72.2 billion at list prices. Airlines typically receive discounts from list prices.
Of the 730 requests received during the air show, Airbus said 418 of those were firm orders while the remainder were tentative agreements. The bulk of the requests, or 667 of them, were for the A320neo.
"With over 1,000 commitments just half a year after launch our A320neo is a real bestseller,” Enders said. "I have to admit, I largely underestimated the market demand for neo before this show.”
Rival Boeing said it recorded orders and committments for 142 aircraft worth $22 billion at catalog prices during the air show. That includes a commitment from an undisclosed customer for it's hulking new 747-8 Intercontinentals worth $4.7 billion.
Boeing played down the orders rivalry, saying it doesn't keep deals in reserve just to announce them at air shows.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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