xxUPDATE 1-Mexico budget airline orders 52 Airbus A320 worth $5.1 bln
MEXICO CITY, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Mexican budget airline VivaAerobus has ordered 52 Airbus A320-family jets from Airbus , an official at the European planemaker said on Monday, in a deal with a list price of $5.1 billion.
Of the order, 40 are for the A320neo model, Rafael Alonso, Airbus Executive Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean, told reporters in Mexico City. The 40 A320neo planes have a combined list price of $4 billion alone.
Airbus said VivaAerobus, which has previously used Boeing aircraft, had also ordered 12 A320ceo, with a combined list price of $1.1 billion.
The first plane will be delivered in April 2014, VivaAerobus Chief Executive Juan Carlos Zuazua told a news conference.
The defection to a new supplier, first reported by Reuters in June, follows a bitterly fought contest as the Mexican low-cost carrier becomes the latest to compare the newest fuel-saving models offered by both planemakers.
The deal marks a breakthrough for United Technologies unit Pratt & Whitney, whose engines compete with GE/Safran venture CFM to power A320 jets.
The arrival of a new generation of jet engines boasting double-digit percentage gains in fuel efficiency prompted both Airbus and Boeing to revamp their medium-haul, narrowbody models and triggered a worldwide battle for market share.
VivaAerobus, which launched in 2006, is a venture between Mexican transport company Grupo IAMSA and the family behind Irish low-cost airline Ryanair.
Monterrey-based VivaAerobus, whose existing fleet comprises 19 Boeing 737-300 aircraft, operates 51 routes in Mexico and two to the United States, according to the company.
VivaAerobus currently has about 12 percent of the market for flights in Mexico and just one percent of the market for international flights.