Airbus SAS won 102 orders for revamped A320-family planes from Go Airlines (India) Ltd. and Philippine budget carrier Cebu Pacific, moving it closer to reaching a target of 500 commitments by the end of next week.
GoAir agreed to a deal for 72 A320neos, Managing Director Jeh Wadia told reporters in Mumbai today. Cebu Pacific signed a memorandum of understanding for 30 A321neos as well as exercising options for seven existing A320s, President Lance Gokongwei said in Manila.
“We chose the neo because we felt that it’s the best aircraft of the decade,” Wadia said. It will offer “substantial amount of savings, especially in India where fuel is so expensive,” he said.
Toulouse, France-based Airbus expects to have more than 500 A320neo orders by the end of the Paris Air Show, which starts June 20, reaching the milestone about seven months after committing to building the plane. Boeing Co. (BA) also plans to decide this year between fitting new engines to its rival 737 and developing a new single-aisle aircraft as carriers seek to pare fuel usage amid rising oil prices.
The A320neo, due to enter service in 2015, will be 15 percent more fuel-efficient than current planes, according to Airbus, a unit of European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. It will have a choice of engines from United Technologies Corp.’s Pratt & Whitney and from CFM International, a venture between General Electric Co. (GE) and Safran SA.
Cebu Pacific, a unit of Cebu City, the Philippines-based Cebu Air Inc. (CEB), and GoAir are both existing operators of A320s. Airbus may announce it first order from an airline flying the Boeing 737 this month, Christopher Buckley, Airbus’s executive vice president for Europe, Asia and Pacific, said in a June 6 interview. The planemaker had won 332 orders and commitments by that point, he said.
IndiGo, India’s biggest budget carrier, agreed to order 150 A320neos in January as part of the world’s biggest plane deal. Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Virgin America Inc. and Brazilian carrier Tam SA have also made orders or commitments.