Airbus lands deal for 100 new fuel-efficient planes
AEROPLANE manufacturer Airbus has landed a mammoth order for 100 new aircraft, worth an estimated £6.5 billion.
The firm, which employs around 4,000 people in Filton, has just enjoyed one of its most successful years thanks to the popularity of its new fuel-efficient aircraft.
The A320 neo, which was designed and developed at the South Gloucestershire factory, is now one of the fastest selling planes in the history of the aviation industry.
Norwegian, one of the biggest budget airlines in Europe, has ordered 100 A320 neos in a deal that is worth more than £6.5 billion. It is the first time the Scandinavian operator has placed an order with Airbus.
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Over the last 12 months Airbus has overtaken its American rival Boeing to become the biggest aeroplane manufacturer in the world.
And even more lucrative orders are expected to be announced next month when the Farnborough Airshow takes place.
The latest order makes the Norwegian airline a new Airbus customer and also one of the biggest A320 neo operators in the wold.
Norwegian has a network of routes across Europe into North Africa and the Middle East, and is rapidly expanding its low cost flights as a result of increasing demand.
Norwegian's chief executive Bjørn Kjos said: "We are very pleased to be an Airbus customer and look forward to a close cooperation with a world-leading aircraft manufacturer.
"This order gives us an opportunity to secure and invest in the company's future. Brand new, fuel-efficient aircraft are necessary for us to continue to grow.
"From an environmental perspective, we know that Airbus is continuously working on measures to reduce emissions, making new aircraft a win-win for both the environment, our passengers and for us as a company."
John Leahy, who is in charge of sales for the firm, played a major role in sealing the massive deal.
He said: "We are very pleased to welcome Norwegian as an all-new Airbus customer. The A320 neo sets new industry standards for eco-efficiency and passenger appeal.
"Norwegian will become among the first airlines in Scandinavia to benefit from the A320neo's increased capabilities, including a 15 percent reduction in fuel burn and emissions."
More than 8,400 A320 aircraft have now been ordered and more than 5,100 delivered to about 350 customers and operators across the world.
Last year Airbus announced its biggest-ever deal with an order from a budget airline based in India. Delhi-based IndiGo placed an order for 180 passenger jets worth a total of around £10 billion.