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EasyJet turns to Airbus

London/Paris, Oct 14 (Reuters): Europe’s largest no-frills airline EasyJet says it has chosen Europe’s Airbus instead of current supplier Boeing for a multi-billion dollar order to supply up to 240 planes.

The deal, excluding options, would be worth roughly $ 6.2 billion (£ 3.8 billion) based on catalogue prices. But Airbus will have offered significant discounts in order to win its first order from the airline. Airbus’ lower-cost offer looked to have won as EasyJet named it as preferred supplier for 120 A319 aircraft with options for another 120—the biggest order this year.

While a big blow to Boeing, the deal breaks open the European low-cost airlines market to Airbus for the first time, although some industry insiders worried that the costs of integrating the new Airbus planes with EasyJet’s garish orange fleet of Boeing 737s could hurt the airline’s performance.

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