India's IndiGo Airlines signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airbus on Wednesday: a firm order for 250 Airbus A320neo aircraft, a deal that the list price values at $25.7 billion. This is the largest order ever placed for commercial planes, displacing the previous 230-plane order for Boeing's 737 by Lion Air.
The A320neo is an upgraded design of the Airbus narrowbody workhorse, the A320 which took its first flight on September 25th in France. Over 3,450 of these planes have been ordered, including hundreds from U.S. based airlines. Aditya Ghosh, President of IndiGo said:
"This new order reaffirms IndiGo's commitment to the long-term development of affordable air transportation in India and overseas. The additional aircraft will enable us to continue to bring our low fares and courteous, hassle free service to more customers and markets and will create more job opportunities and growth. The IndiGo team is energised and excited to herald this new phase of our growth."
"The A320neo continues to dominate world market share and this commitment confirms the A320 Family as the aircraft of choice in the most dynamic aviation growth markets," said Airbus President and CEO Fabrice Bregier at the press conference for the announcement of the order. Expected to be delivered to airlines beginning in 2015, the neo will improve upon the existing A320 design with new and more efficient engines by CFM International or Pratt & Whitney, along with aerodynamic improvements gained through winglets called "Sharklets" which reduce drag and create additional lift.