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IndiGo likely to Ink Deal with Airbus for 500 Jets

Airbus is closing towards a potentially record deal to sell 500 narrow-body A320-family jets to India's largest carrier IndiGo, industry sources said on Sunday. The European planemaker has emerged as front-runner for an order eclipsing Air India’s historic provisional purchase of 470 jets in February, the sources said on the sidelines of an airline industry meeting in Istanbul.

Such a deal would be worth some $50 billion at the most recently published Airbus list prices, but would typically be worth less than half this after widespread airline industry discounts for bulk deals, according to aircraft analysts.

Airbus and Boeing are also competing in separate talks to sell 25 A330neo or Boeing 787 wide-body jets to the same airline, they said. IndiGo chief executive Pieter Elbers, attending the annual meeting of the International Air Transport Association in Istanbul, declined to comment on commercial matters. Airbus and Boeing also declined to comment.

Reuters first reported in March that IndiGo, which has a 56% share of the domestic Indian market, was in talks with both Airbus and Boeing for the order, which if confirmed would be the largest by a single airline ranked by units. IndiGo's potential new order comes as it is yet to take delivery of nearly 500 jets out of a total order of 830 Airbus A320-family planes, making it one of the largest customers of the European group. Airbus and Boeing have been racking up billions of dollars of new orders stretching beyond 2030 as airlines lock in supplies well ahead amid looming shortages.

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