Airbus signs biggest-ever civil aviation order with Indonesia's Lion Air

French-based European aircraft builder Airbus has signed the biggest contract in the history of civil aviation with Indonesia’s Lion Air. French President François Hollande hailed the deal as “historic” and said it would create 5,000 jobs.


The contract was signed at the Elysée presidential palace between Lion Air CEO Rusdi

Airbus's orders represent four years of production but we can do even better. There is no limit when it comes to big contracts with Airbus. They are an example to what our economy can and must do in terms of competitivity, research and innovation, training of personnel and marketing.

President François Hollande

Kirana and Airbus boss Fabrice Brégier.

As predicted in January, the Toulouse-based company is to build 234 jetliners for a total of 18.4 billion euros for the low-cost airline.

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The order is made up of 109 A320 Neos – to be delivered in 2016, according to Hollande - the planned more environmentally friendly version, 65 A321 Neos and 60 A320s, the current model – to be delivered 2014.

Hollande seized on the rare piece of good news on the jobs front, announcing that it would create 5,000 jobs over 10 years and declaring that it was “exemplary of what we want to do with all industry”.

Three days ago Airbus scored another coup with the sale of 82 planes, worth an estimated 7.2 billion euros, to Turkish Airlines.

The company also took an option on an extra 35, an order that would push the value of the deal to 12 billion euros.

The deal is Lion Air’s second large order from Airbus in 16 months, following last November’s order of 230 planes.

Most of its business is within Indonesia, which has 240 million inhabitants spread over an archipelago of 17,500 islands, but it also flies to Singapore, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia, where it is aiming to compete with Air Asia, the biggest airline in the region.

It is not allowed to fly in the European Union and the US because it is not judged to come up to security norms and not quoted on the stock exchange, allowing its profits and losses and other aspects of its accounts to remain secret to everyone other than Kiran and the the Kusnan brothers, who own it.


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