Airbus lands a deal for a record 430 of its A320neo-family jets as U.S. investor Bill Franke raises his bet on budget airlines rewriting the rule book by combining bargain fares and optional fees. As Silvia Antonioli reports, Boeing also reached a preliminary deal for 175 of its 737 MAX jets with flydubai.
Airbus execs are flying high in Dubai They have landed a record deal to sell 430 planes for up to 50-billion-dollars at the annual Airshow The buyer is U.S. investor Bill Franke- the owner of Indigo Partners. The 80-year old is splashing the cash to supply A320 Neo jets to 4 airlines in which he has stakes: Frontier Airlines, Volaris, JetSmart and Wizz Air. (SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) AIRBUS CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER-CUSTOMERS JOHN LEAHY, SAYING: "The negotiating teams on both sides did a fantastic job for Airbus and for the airlines involved." Airbus might have begged the biggest prize. But there has been a flurry of dealmaking at the popular industry gathering as airlines take advantage of a recent dip in demand for new planes to get better prices. One of the latest announcements is from Boeing and flyDubai. (SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) CHAIRMAN OF FLYDUBAI SHEIKH AHMED BIN SAEED AL MAKTOUM, SAYING: "We are announcing today a commitment for an order valued at $27 billion U.S. dollars for 225 Boeing 737-Max-8, 9 and 10 aircrafts ." Budget airlines got the lion's share of the action in Dubai. But that, for some, is some is a worry. SOUNDBITE (English) DARREN SINDEN, MARKET ANALYST, PEPPERSTONE, SAYING: "The budget airline business runs on wafer thin margins. It's all about efficiency.... one wonders how sustainable that business is, given the recent wave of bankruptcies, given the threat of rising interest rates to come and of course these deals are often done on a leasing basis. So whilst there's big numbers at the moment and very, very exciting deals it wouldn't surprise me at all if these were modified and reduced throughout the lifetime of the order . " Indeed the job now for Airbus and Boeing is to make sure that these preliminary deals come to fruition or there might be still be some rough landings to come.