“Airbus SAS won an order from Indonesia’s PT Lion Mentari Airlines for 234 planes worth $24 billion at list price, giving the European planemaker entry into a market that competitor Boeing Co. (BA) has long dominated.
The order, announced at a ceremony this morning at the French presidential palace in Paris, includes current-generation A320s as well as planes from the newer A320neo series. Customers typically buy planes at discounts.
The Indonesian carrier needs more aircraft as it adds flights in a region where air travel is expected to grow more than 6.4 percent annually through 2031. Lion Air, which flies to more than 36 destinations within Indonesia and overseas, is establishing a low-cost carrier in Malaysia to challenge AirAsia Bhd. (AIRA), Airbus’s biggest A320 customer.
“We’ve always wanted to be a big player in Indonesia, a country of 17,000 islands and 240 million people,” John Leahy, chief salesman of Airbus, said in a telephone interview as the order was announced. “Boeing’s been dominant there for a long time and I think it’s important that in using planes like the A320neo we’re able to break into that market.”
The Asian airline had already signed a record order with Boeing for 230 additional 737s in February last year. That deal was worth $22.4 billion at list prices. The purchase, which also included 150 options, was Boeing’s biggest in dollar value and plane numbers at the time.