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Airbus gets early 2018 jump on rival Boeing with Mexico order

[MEXICO CITY] Airbus got an early jump on rival Boeing for 2018 with news Tuesday that low-cost Mexican airline Volaris has ordered 80 of its popular A320 planes for a total of US$9.3 billion.

The planned purchase, which entails deliveries over the next eight years, comes after the European Aerospace giant overtook Boeing last year in terms of aircraft orders, booking 1,109 against the US company's 718.

"The announcement of the investment in 80 Airbus aircraft by Volaris for a total US$9.3 billion is very important," Mexican Communications Minister Gerardo Ruiz said, accompanied by Volaris executives.

Volaris CEO Enrique Beltranena said it was "the biggest plane order signed in the history" of Mexico.

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He said 40 of the planes will be delivered between 2018 and 2021 and the rest by 2026.

Volaris, created in 2006, has routes across Mexico and to 78 destinations abroad. Last year it transported more than 320,000 passengers.

Airbus said its 2017 performance for commercial plane deliveries was a company record, reflecting 15 consecutive years of growth.

At the end of 2017, Airbus' overall backlog stood at 7,265 aircraft valued at $1.059 trillion (S$1.4 trillion) at list prices, the company said.

Its A320 family of short- and medium-haul jets is a production mainstay, and Airbus has invested in new-generation versions of it that are more fuel efficient.

In contrast, sales of Airbus's flagship giant A380 double-decker planes has been disappointing, with only 317 ordered since its launch in 2007.

The company has suggested further A380 production could be threatened if key customer Emirates did not order any more.

AFP

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