March 18 - Europe's Airbus has landed a record order worth $24 billion at list prices from Indonesia's Lion Air, smashing rival Boeing's grip on one of the world's fastest-growing airlines. Joel Flynn reports
A sky-high deal for Airbus. The European air-giant has landed a $24 billion contract. Indonesia's Lion Air has ordered 234 jets from the manufacturer. It's the largest single order ever recorded by Airbus, a subsidiary of EADS Rusdi Kirana is Lion Air's Chief Executive. SOUNDBITE Lion Air Chief Executive, Rusdi Kirana, saying (English): "Today we declare our commitment and optimism to make a bold decision for the future with this firm order of 234 aircraft from Airbus. It is a world record purchase." The Indonesian carrier is one of the world's fastest-growing airlines. And Southeast Asia is one of the most fertile markets for popular medium-haul jets. The deal also smashes rival Boeing's grip on Lion Air.. The French President was quick to make political capital from it. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT FRANCOIS HOLLANDE SAYING: "Contracts like this one show what our economy can and must do in terms of competition, research and innovation, as well as staff and commercial activity. Airbus has shown that technology isn't enough on its own. You have to sell it." The deal throws the spotlight further on the intense battle between Airbus and Boeing. Both have recently secured big orders - totalling $35 billion. Turkish Airlines wants 82 Airbus jets, Ryanair is expected to order 170 Boeings, while Germany's Lufthansa wants some of each. The U.S. manufacturer outsold Airbus in 2012 for the first time in six years, and is so far ahead this year as well.