Airbus Announces Orders for 29 Jets

Airbus announced orders for 29 jets on Thursday, as U.S. leasing company CIT Group Inc. and Hungarian low-cost carrier Wizz Air signed deals with the European aircraft maker.

Unveiling the deals on the fourth day of the Farnborough International Airshow, Airbus said that Wizz Air has signed an order to increase its all-Airbus fleet with 20 additional A320s at Farnborough Airshow in England in a deal worth around $1.4 billion at list prices. The airline ordered 12 A320 aircraft plus 12 options a year ago.

Wizz Air Chief Executive Officer Jozsef Varadi said that buying the same sort of planes would allow it to "achieve the lowest unit cost."

Airbus also revealed that CIT is buying five A330-200 and four A320 planes. Airbus did not disclose details of the contract. The A330-200 carries a catalog price of $160 million; the A320 has a price of around $65 million.

The deals took Airbus' total orders or commitments at the airshow, one of the biggest events on the aviation calendar, to 114 planes, worth around $8.8 billion at list prices.

Rival Boeing Co. gained orders and commitments for 76 aircraft but sold more larger jets than Airbus, topping $10 billion at list prices in new business. In total, Boeing said on its Web site that it has won 510 orders so far this year, according to figures through Tuesday.

The values are based on catalog prices, since the discounts that airlines typically negotiate are never disclosed.

Airbus arrived at the airshow on the backfoot following costly new production delays to its A380 superjumbo and the subsequent departure of key executives.

Airbus is seeking to reassure investors at Farnborough that it is back on track after the A380 delays and management changes last month at both Airbus and its parent company European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co.

It used the first day of the airshow to unveil a $10 billion revamp of the A350 jet, the original design of which had been criticized by airlines.

The new A350XWB - for "extra-wide body" - seeks to beat Boeing's Dreamliner at its own game. It offers bigger windows, a roomier cabin, greater fuel efficiency and a larger stretch version seating 350 passengers - 15 fewer than the 777-300ER.


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