New Delhi, India — The European consortium Airbus Industry Saturday won a $1.2 billion order from Indian Airlines for 31 new A320 aircraft, defeating Boeing Commercial Aircraft Co. after a bruising sales battle, airline sources said.

The general manager of the Indian flag carrier’s domestic service delivered a letter of intent to buy at least 31 of the advanced, 162seat aircraft, said the sources, who asked not to be named.

The order has an official price tag of $1.2 billion, but exact pricing was not clear.

The letter of intent sup plants similar letters Hened in 1984 to buy 12 Boeing 757s from the Seattle based American Company. That deal would have been worth about $500 million.

Contracts for the sale have yet to be signed.

The order represents a dramatic reversal for Boeing, which is facing increasingly stiff competition from Airbus in Asia.

Delivery of the European planes is due to begin by 1988, when the plane goes into production, and be completed by 1990, sources said. As part of the deal, the European consortium will lease 12 planes Airbus A300S and Boeing 737s for Indian Airlines to use for free until the new planes are ready, one source said.

The twin-engine A320 is to be fitted with the International Aero Engine V25000, produced by a con the glom rate with European, American and Japanese participation.

The aircraft are meant to replace Indian Airline’s fleet of Boeing 737s, many of which are up to 15 years old. The planes fly routes to India’s secondary cities. Traffic on those routes has expanded rapidly and many flights are plagued by overbooking and lack of seats.

Article extracted from this publication >>  September 27, 1985