Indigo Partners’ has signed a memorandum of understanding for the purchase of 430 A320neo Family aircraft from Airbus.
The deal is Airbus’ largest ever single plane order.
The aircraft will be allocated among the ultra-low-cost airlines Frontier Airlines (United States), JetSMART (Chile), Volaris (Mexico), and Wizz Air (Hungary) upon the completion of final purchase agreements.
The 430-aircraft commitment, comprised of 273 A320neos and 157 A321neos worth $49.5 billion at list prices, was announced at the Dubai Airshow by Bill Franke, managing partner of Indigo Partners, and John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer customers, Airbus Commercial Aircraft.
When added to existing Airbus A320 Family orders, the new agreement will make Indigo Partners one of the largest customers by order number in the world for the Airbus single-aisle aircraft family.
Airlines in the Indigo Partners family have previously placed orders for 427 A320 Family aircraft.
“This significant commitment for 430 additional aircraft underscores our optimistic view of the growth potential of our family of low-cost airlines, as well as our confidence in the A320neo Family as a platform for that growth,” said Franke.
“Our airlines know that a great aircraft coupled with a great business plan will create value for our customers.
“We look forward to bringing comfort and low fares to more passengers around the world as Wizz Air, Volaris, JetSMART and Frontier continue to expand.”
Also present at the announcement were Enrique Beltranena, chief executive of Volaris; Barry Biffle, chief executive of Frontier Airlines; Estuardo Ortiz, chief executive of JetSMART; and József Váradi, chief executive of Wizz Air.
The deal will see Wizz Air take 72 A320neo and 74 A321neo planes, while Frontier will add 100 A320neos and 34 A321neos to its fleet.
At the same time, JetSMART will receive 56 A320neos and 14 A321neos, and Volaris will add 46 A320neo and 34 A321neo aircraft.
Leahy said: “Indigo Partners have been a tremendous customer and supporter of the Airbus single-aisle fleet for many years.
“An order for 430 aircraft is remarkable, but it’s particularly gratifying to all of us at Airbus when it comes from a group of airline professionals who know our products as well as the folks at Indigo Partners do.
“We are proud to augment their airline fleets in Latin America, North America and Europe with the single-aisle aircraft that offers the lowest operating costs, longest range and most spacious cabin: the A320neo Family.”
Indigo Partners’ Franke indicated that engine selections will be made and announced at a later date.
The A320neo Family incorporates the very latest technologies, including new generation engines and Sharklet wing-tip devices, which together will deliver 20 per cent fuel savings by 2020.
With more than 5,200 orders received from 95 customers since its launch in 2010, the A320neo Family has captured nearly 60 per cent market share.
Indigo Partners, based in Phoenix, Arizona, is a private equity fund focused on worldwide investments in air transportation.