Lion Air Places Huge Airbus Order

European planemaker and EADS (NASDAQOTH: EADSF  ) subsidiary Airbus confirmed Monday that it has -- for the time being, at least -- matched Boeing's (NYSE: BA  ) inroads into Indonesia.

Two years ago, Boeing struck a massive $21.7 billion (admittedly at list prices, which no one ever pays) deal to supply upstart airline Lion Air with some 230 new 737 MAX airplanes. Today, Airbus saw Boeing's offer and raised it four planes, signing a $24 billion contract (again, at list prices) to sell Lion Air 109 re-engined A320neos, 65 A321neos, and 60 conventionally engined A320ceos.

In so doing, Airbus both added Indonesia's largest private airline to its customer list for the first time ever and took a small unit-lead over Boeing of four planes -- and a larger dollar-value lead of $2.3 billion -- but maybe not for long. Part and parcel with Boeing's 2011 deal was the extension of options to Lion Air, giving the airline the right to buy an additional 150 planes.

Next move, Boeing.


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