$18bn order for new Airbus jets

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The Independent Online

Airbus continued to notch up sales for its A320neo planes at the Paris Air show yesterday by clinching a record $18bn (£11bn) order for 200 jets from AirAsia.

The deal, which makes the Malaysian carrier the European group's largest customer, is the biggest in commercial aviation history in terms of the number of planes.

It follows a $16bn order for 180 aircraft from the Indian budget airline IndiGo.

The AirAsia deal comes after a draft agreement in February.

AirAsia chief executive Tony Fernandes revealed he had been out at a bar with the Airbus sales chief, John Leahy, and chief executive Tom Enders, when they signed the draft in the early hours – but not until Mr Fernandes got Mr Leahy to dance.

"John said 'I don't dance'," he revealed. "I said, 'Fine. I don't sign'."