Indian airline IndiGo agrees record 250 Airbus jet order

October 15, 2014, 12:00 PM UTC
contract armin harris
Kyle Bean for Fortune

Airbus looks set to exceed 1,000 net orders this year after securing a provisional deal with Indian carrier IndiGo for 250 revamped A320neo jets, its sales chief said on Wednesday.

Indian budget airline IndiGo has agreed to buy 250 A320 planes from Airbus, a purchase that could be worth nearly $26 billion and rank as the largest single order of jets from the European planemaker.

India’s biggest airline is expanding aggressively as it seeks to win more market share in one of the world’s fastest growing aviation markets and cement its position as the country’s only profitable carrier.

In the first nine months of 2014, Airbus lagged rival Boeing with 791 net orders. Gross orders, before adjustments for model conversions or cancellations, stood at 1,077 aircraft.

“I think we are going to be comfortably over 1,000 net and over 1,350 or 1,400 gross,” John Leahy, chief operating officer for customers, said in a telephone interview.

Airbus is targeting 2014 net orders in excess of its deliveries, which it expects to be about the same as last year’s company record of 626 aircraft handed over to customers.

The IndiGo deal disproves recent warnings from some analysts about demand and underpins Airbus’ confidence in the market, but does not by itself change the planemaker’s production plans, Leahy said.