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Originally published Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 5:31 PM

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Corrected version

Re-engined Airbus A320 attracts Indian airline

Airbus announced Tuesday the first commitment for its re-engined A320 single-aisle jet, a large order from low-cost Indian airline IndiGo.

Seattle Times aerospace reporter

Airbus announced Tuesday the first commitment for its re-engined A320 single-aisle jet, a large order from low-cost Indian airline IndiGo.

The 180-jet commitment is for 30 of today's A320s plus 150 A320neo ("new engine option") airplanes. If firmed up, the order will be worth almost $16 billion at list prices and the largest order in aviation history.

Based on estimates from aircraft-valuation firm Avitas, the actual purchase price after typical discounts would be about $9 billion.

Airbus spokeswoman Maryanne Greczyn said the airplanes for IndiGo do not represent a firm order (meaning a nonrefundable deposit has been paid), just a future commitment.

As a startup airline in 2005, IndiGo placed an initial order for 100 A320s. Of those, 37 have been delivered and the airline is flying only 32 of them.

Set to enter service in 2016, the recently launched A320neo upgrades the single-aisle model with winglets and a more fuel-efficient engine.

Airlines can choose either a Pratt &Whitney geared turbofan or a CFM International LEAP-X engine, each of which aims to deliver fuel savings of "up to 15 percent" compared with the current A320.

The IndiGo order increases pressure on Boeing to decide on the future of its single-aisle jet offerings.

The A320 competes with the Renton-built 737, and Boeing has pushed out a decision on whether to re-engine that airplane or to replace it some years later with an all-new design.

Still, Boeing won't be too rattled by an A320neo sales win from an airline already firmly established as an A320 customer. The pressure will become intense only if the new A320neo manages to win over a former Boeing 737 customer.

Dominic Gates: 206-464-2963 or dgates@seattletimes.com

Information in this article, originally published Jan. 11, 2011, was corrected Jan. 12, 2011. The original version of the story incorrectly said some of the planes counted in this deal were likely upgrades for jets previously sold to IndiGo and therefore not additive to the order book.

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