Bristol-designed A320 neo Airbus has sold double estimate
PLANEMAKERS Airbus have announced the company has sold twice as many of a revolutionary passenger jet – which was designed in Bristol – than originally predicted.
The company, which employs 4,000 people at its Filton factory, landed more than 1,000 orders for the A320 neo, pictured above in Lufthansa livery, over the last 12 months. The total number of orders are worth $100 billion – about £62 billion.
The news came as Airbus confirmed it has signed a deal with an American airline for 80 more of the aircraft.
The deal is the latest in a series of major contracts announced by the firm in what has been its best year on record.
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As a result of the huge success of the new plane the company has also moved well ahead of its American rival to cement its place as the world's biggest manufacturer of aeroplanes.
Special wing-tips or winglets – which were designed at Filton – mean that the A320 neo uses about ten per cent less fuel than the standard version of the plane.
As a result of soaring oil prices and the pressure on companies to be as green as possible there has been a huge increase in demand and orders for the aircraft.
Over the last year, sales of the revamped Airbus have topped 1,000 planes – worth £62 billion – which is about twice what analysts and Airbus predicted a year ago when it first unveiled its latest model.
The company suffered in the first year of the recession when global air travel took a nosedive but has since soared way past trade levels in 2008.
The upsurge in orders has also been fuelled by enormous demand from the fast-growing economies in the Far East such as India and China.
The fact that Boeing has also struggled to get its long-promised Dreamliner off the ground has also helped Airbus's cause.
Airbus announced it won 1,372 orders between January and October, more than three times the total than at the same stage last year and more than twice the 538 sales reported over the period by US rival Boeing.
After taking into account cancellations Airbus had total sales of 1,231 and Boeing 428.
Meanwhile, Denver-based Frontier Airlines has confirmed it is to buy 60 A320 neos and 20 A319 neos.
As reported in the Evening Post Indian budget airline IndiGo has ordered 150 neos, one of the biggest orders ever seen in aviation history.
A spokesman for Airbus said: "We are very confident of delivering the neos on time. Everything is aligned and in place."