Airbus secured an order for 36 single-aisle planes from U.K. leisure carrier Jet2, picking off a Boeing Co. customer with steep discounts as it seeks to regain sales momentum.
The A321neo jets, scheduled for delivery over five years through 2028, are valued at $4.9 billion before “significant discounts,” Jet2 said in a statement Tuesday. The number of planes could rise to 60, bringing the face value of the deal to about $8.1 billion.
Airlines with the resources to commit to new jets are finding bargains as planemakers bend on prices to replenish pandemic-depleted order backlogs. Jet2 said the agreement with Airbus gives the U.K.-based operator of packaged-holiday tours the flexibility to finance the planes through internal resources and debt.
For Airbus, the move marks a rare steal from U.S. rival Boeing, which had supplied Jet2 with its 737 model in the past. Carriers are typically loath to switch suppliers because of the added complexity and cost associated with re-training pilots and maintaining a fleet with two different types of aircraft.
The Jet2 deal builds on a follow-on order from U.S. giant Delta Air Lines last week for 30 A321s. Through July, Boeing has dominated the 2021 order race with its rejuvenated 737 Max, garnering net sales of 270 planes across all models versus 33 for Airbus.
Jet2 cited lower fuel consumption, comfort and efficiency in choosing the A321, a larger variant of the top-selling A320 narrow-body.