Airbus bags record order from Lion Air
European aircraft maker Airbus has secured a record order with Indonesia's largest private carrier Lion Air, breaking rival Boeing's hold on the fast growing airline.
The deal, expected to be worth about $20bn (£13.2bn/€15.5bn) will be announced in Paris at an event overseen by French President Francois Hollande, according to a Reuters report.
Hollande's office had earlier revealed that the president would meet Airbus Chief Executive Fabrice Bregier to appreciate "a major industrial deal" but had not given any details.
According to the French business daily Les Echoes, Lion Air's plan is to buy over 200 medium haul A320 carriers. The low-cost carrier will be a new client for the European company.
The deal will be signed as 'Industry Week' kicks off in France, which is an initiative to boost the domestic manufacturing sector.
Southeast Asian countries have emerged as a strong market for Airbus and Boeing where the improving economic conditions have resulted in an increase in air traffic.
With a population of about 240 million scattered over 17,000 islands and an economy that has remained unaffected by the global economic downturn, Indonesia has become a major attraction for aircraft makers.
The country's domestic aviation sector is estimated to be expanding 21 percent per year.
In 2011, Boeing had managed a record 201-aircraft order from Lion Air in a deal signed during a visit by the US President Barack Obama. This had given rise to US wielding its political influence over the deal.
The latest order from Airbus could see a higher number than the Boeing deal, reports Reuters, adding that Lion Air founder Rusdi Kirana was not immediately available for comments on the matter.
While the deal is expected to bring the competition between global aircraft manufacturers in focus, it is also set to throw light on the regional rivalry between Lion Air and the Malaysian low-cost carrier Air Asia.
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