Airbus Wins $3.8 Billion U.S. Deal, Said to Near Saudi Sale

Jan 11, 2017 9:31 am ET

(Bloomberg) -- Airbus Group SE won an order for 35 A320-series jets from U.S. leasing firm Aviation Capital Group, marking its first sale of 2017. The European company is also close to securing a major narrow-body deal from Saudi Arabian carrier Flynas, according to people familiar with the plan.

The contract with Aviation Capital, a unit of Pacific Life Insurance Co., is for 30 A320neo planes, the re-engined version of Airbus’s single-aisle workhorse, together with two original A320 variants and three larger A321s. That values the deal at $3.8 billion, based on list prices.

Aviation Capital also has an option to take 10 further A320neos, including which it has now ordered 158 A320-family jets, 66 of which have yet to be delivered, the Newport Beach, California-based company said in a statement Tuesday.

An A320 order from Flynas is meanwhile imminent, according to the person with knowledge of the requirement, who asked not to be named because no announcement has yet been made. Flynas said in November that it was considering a deal for 60 planes plus 40 options, and weighing the Airbus model against the Boeing Co.’s rival 737, though the number of firm orders remains under discussion and could be increased, the person said.

Toulouse, France-based Airbus declined to comment on the Flynas situation.

China, India

Airbus is also close to securing a deal for 42 narrow-body jets from the leasing unit of China’s Bank of Communications, Reuters reported, citing industry sources, saying the contract could be announced Wednesday when the planemaker reveals its 2016 order and delivery tallies.

Airbus has previously included some contracts announced in January in its December numbers, giving a final boost to its tallies. Other late deals could include sign-off on a 72-plane transaction with India’s GoAir, according to Reuters, which also reported the Flynas negotiations earlier, while saying the deal will be limited to 60 planes.

Iran Air also signed a contract for 100 Airbus jetliners worth about $19 billion at list prices in January, almost a year after first announcing the purchase following an accord reining in its nuclear program. The deal comprises 46 A320-series planes, 38 twin-aisle A330s and 16 of the latest A350 wide-bodies, and is also likely to be added to the full-year order total.

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