As the year comes to a close, Airbus is trying to close the gap with Boeing for annual orders. The European multinational corporation announced several multi-billion-dollar deals at the end of 2017 in spite of a tumultuous year.
This last push by the European plane maker comes after a shakeout by management and corruption investigations involving the company, according to Reuters. In addition, for the first 11 months of the year, Airbus trailed Boeing in jet production and sales.
One of the deals announced this week included an order of 430 jets by private equity firm Indigo Partners. This order is worth $49.5 billion for the aviation giant. As stated in the news release, analysts are predicting that Airbus may be forced to offer savings and discounts to bridge the gap with Boeing.
As reported by CNBC, this timely sale made Airbus’ largest-ever single order placed. The airlines that were part of the deal included Wizz Air, Frontier Airlines, Jetsmart, and Volaris.
But the Indigo deal does not stop there. Also, there are 275 additional jets ordered and may help conclude this turbulent journey for Airbus. However, the probes into the company’s dealings left it bent out of shape.
“Airbus has endured what insiders describe as a painful year, falling sharply behind Boeing and seeing its sales teams demoralized by the impact of UK and French probes into the use of middlemen by a now-disbanded headquarters unit.”
It was not all sour news for Airbus. As it turns out, it set record highs as the manufacturer of planes recuperates from recent production problems.
The company’s chief operating officer (CEO), John Leahy, is expected to retire come January 2018. With his departure after a 23-year reign, the company is set to deliver 700 jets for 2017. If all of these orders are completed, they would total 705 narrowbody jets since the end of November.
Elsewhere, all of these recent orders for Airbus could help it reach over 1,000 orders. Furthermore, several airlines placed orders to include Airbus’ jets to its family of aircraft. Among the airlines to purchase jets from Airbus were Delta Airlines (100), China Aircraft Leasing (50), and AerCap (50).
Airbus is also dealing with another problem. Its A380 edition hangs in the balance and its future remains uncertain. The company hopes to clinch an order of 36 jets from Dubai’s Emirates. Otherwise, it could hamper future production of the aircraft and lead to its permanent phase-out.