These Airlines Are Airbus’ Biggest Customers

Airbus has been producing commercial passenger aircraft since 1970 for customers all around the world. The European planemaker…

These Airlines Are Airbus’ Biggest Customers

Airbus has been producing commercial passenger aircraft since 1970 for customers all around the world. The European planemaker has been engaged in an intense rivalry with American company Boeing trying to secure the most significant orders. But which airlines have been Airbus’ best customers and shown loyalty throughout the last few decades? Let us find out.

Who are Airbus’ best customers? Photo: Airbus

Who are the top ten Airbus airline customers?

Without further ado, here is the list of the airlines that have ordered the most aircraft from Airbus as of April 2020. This list is ranked by aircraft number, not by finacial amount.

Airline Historic Orders Historic Deliveries Operating
IndiGo 830 217 239
AirAsia Malaysia 592 230 245
Lufthansa 519 396 278
easyJet 480 366 337
Delta Air Lines 401 168 313
Wizz Air 388 120 121
China Eastern Airlines 374 361 389
Jetblue Airways 348 202 202
China Southern Airlines 284 270 340
Turkish Airlines 273 173 178

All of the orders above are historical and don’t represent what the carriers currently have on order (although each entry includes aircraft on order if they have them).

Deliveries are aircraft ordered and delivered to the airline, and operating is currently how many Airbus aircraft are in the fleet as of April 2020. Let’s break down the leaders on this list and see what carriers have ordered.


IndiGo A320 order
IndiGo loves the A320 and is a favorite of Airbus. Photo: Airbus

At the top of the list is the Indian giant IndiGo. The carrier has made a colossal 830 orders with Airbus and heavily use the A320 family aircraft throughout the Indian sub-continent. Its orders are below. If you are wondering where the A321XLR is, Airbus includes that (and the A321LR) as a variant of the A321neo.

Aircraft Number of Historical Orders
A320ceo 100
A320neo 332
A321neo 398
Total 830

AirAsia Malaysia

AirAsia has almost the same big order as IndiGo. Photo: AirAsia.

The most awarded low-cost-carrier in the world has a stellar fleet of Airbus aircraft. Its network reaches throughout South East Asia and brings affordable travel to the region. Here is its fleet breakdown:

Aircraft Number of Historical Orders
A320ceo 188
A320neo 51
A321neo 353
Total 592

AirAsia also has several subsidiaries, such as AirAsia Thai and AirAsia X (Long haul to Australia), not included on this list. But if we did include the extra orders from AirAsia X, the total would be 730. Still shy of the IndiGo order.


Lufthansa, Airbus A380, Munich
Lufthansa is the first carrier on this list to have ordered the A380. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

In third place is Lufthansa, who is on Airbus home ground in nearby Germany. Unlike the first two in this list, Lufthansa has a mixed fleet of several different airbus aircraft, both short-haul and long-haul.

Aircraft Number of Historical Orders
A319ceo 30
A320ceo 123
A320neo 84
A321ceo 64
A321neo 40
A300 23
A310 20
A330-300 19
A340-200/300 35
A340-500/600 24
A350-900 43
A380 14
Total 519


Easyjet Airbus A320neo
easyJet made life easy for Airbus with large orders over the years. Photo: Airbus

Lufthansa’s rival (and many others in Europe) easyJet has a big fleet of aircraft, but only consisting of a single Airbus family, the A320.

Aircraft  Number of Historical Orders
A319ceo 172
A320ceo 149
A320neo 129
A321neo 30
Total 480

Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines A220
Delta loves the A220 and has invested heavily in the type. Photo: Delta

The first US carrier on this list, Delta, has a big fleet of Airbus aircraft that it has slowly ordered over the years. This order history included the new A220 (both versions) as well as the A350.

Aircraft  Number of Historical Orders
A220-100 45
A220-300 50
A321ceo 127
A321neo 100
A310 9
A330-300 10
A330-900 35
A350-900 25
Total 401

Wizz Air Hungary

Wizz Air, Abu Dhabi, Middle East
Wizz Air is using its fleet to expand outside of Europe towards the Middle East. Photo: Wizz Air

Wizz Air, a rival to Boeing’s Starchild Ryanair and easyJet above, has its extensive history of orders with Airbus. It is a fan of the versatile Airbus A320 range of aircraft.

Aircraft  Number of Historical Orders
A320ceo 72
A320neo 65
A321ceo 40
A321neo 211
Total 388

Not included in the above list is the Indigo Partners A321XLR orders, 20 of which will go to Wizz Air.

China Eastern

A China Eastern Airways A300
China Eastern ordered the A300 many years ago. Photo: byeangel via Wikipedia

The first Chinese airline on this list used Airbus aircraft to become a powerhouse in Asia. This carrier has been with Airbus since the beginning and has orders from the A300 to the A350.

Aircraft Number of Historical Orders
A319ceo 33
A320ceo 124
A320neo 37
A321ceo 72
A300 7
A310 5
A330-200 33
A330-300 33
A340-200/300 5
A340-500/600 5
A350-900 20
Total 374


JetBlue, New York, Guatemala City
JetBlue has used Airbus aircraft to reach 25 countries, and will soon be flying to Europe. Photo: Airbus

Jetblue has effectively used the Airbus A320 series to carve out a new market for itself in the US against bigger rivals like United and American Airlines. The carrier is also the second US airline on this list to order the Airbus A220, proving that this aircraft variant will do well in the region.

Aircraft Number of Historical Orders
A220-300 70
A320ceo 132
A321ceo 61
A321neo 85
Total 348

China Southern

China Southern A380
China Southern has a fleet made up of both Airbus and Boeing aircraft. Photo: Getty Images

China Southern is likewise a big customer of Airbus with China Eastern and has bought a considerable range of Airbus aircraft.

Aircraft Number of Historical Orders
A319ceo 14
A320ceo 100
A320neo 8
A321ceo 77
A321neo 10
A330-200 16
A330-300 34
A350-900 20
A380 5
Total 284

China Southern is only one of two airlines on this list to have ordered the Airbus A380.

Turkish Airlines

Turkish A330 to Newark
Turkish Airlines uses Airbus aircraft for its narrow long-haul routes. Photo: Turkish Airlines

Just barely scraping into the top ten is Turkish Airlines, with its range of Airbus orders over the many years it has been operating. With orders like the A310 and the A340, Turkish Airlines has a long history working with Airbus.

Aircraft Number of Historical Orders
A319ceo 6
A320ceo 19
A321ceo 65
A321neo 92
A310 14
A330-200 6
A330-200F 9
A330-300 30
A340-200/300 7
A350-900 25
Total 273

Other big customers

The list at the start of the article is not the most accurate because it has left out two critical customers.

The first is leasing companies. It didn’t seem fair to include them in the list (as they don’t operate any aircraft) and compare them to airlines. But if we add them back into the record, this is what we get:

Airline Historic Orders Historic Deliveries Operating
IndiGo 830 217 239
GECAS 633 458
ILFC 600 600
AirAsia 592 230 245
Lufthansa 519 396 278
EasyJet 480 366 337
Delta Air Lines 401 168 313
AERCAP B.V. 397 215
Wizz Air 388 120 121
China Eastern 374 361 389
Jetblue 348 202 202
China Southern 284 270 340
Turkish Airlines 273 173 178

The other group that we haven’t added is actually ‘unknown’ orders. These are orders for airlines that, for some reason or another, are still hidden or not yet ultimately confirmed. Sometimes the orders are for airlines that ordered the aircraft then went bankrupt. One theory is that as the carrier didn’t formally dissolve the order, thus Airbus can keep it on the books to make the order book look more impressive for shareholders.

If added to the list, it would be the fifth-largest Airbus ‘order’.

Airline Orders Deliveries Operating

What do you think? Which order is the most impressive? Let us know in the comments.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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Meet The 4 Companies Shortlisted For Virgin Australia

Events moved at a rapid pace over the weekend for the potential new owners of Virgin Australia. Eight…

Meet The 4 Companies Shortlisted For Virgin Australia

Events moved at a rapid pace over the weekend for the potential new owners of Virgin Australia. Eight bidders had submitted initial bids to the airline’s administrator, Deloitte, on Friday evening. By Monday morning, Deloitte had whittled that list down to just four.

Virgin Australia’s administrators have shortlisted just four parties to make a final bid for the airline. Photo: Getty Images.

Who made the final shortlist and who did not

The four bidders who made the cut are global hedge fund Cyrus Capital Partners, Melbourne based private equity firm BGH Capital, US private investment firm Bain Capital, and Bill Franke’s Indigo Partners.

“We are delighted by the strength of each of those on the shortlist, with parties selected being well funded and possessing deep aviation experience,” said Deloitte’s Vaughan Strawbridge in a statement provided to Simple Flying.

Among the initial bidders not making the shortlist was Australian’s Andrew Forrest, and India’s InterGlobe Aviation (owners of IndiGo).

Canadian investment juggernaut Brookfield Asset Management pulled out amid concerns about how the shortlist and sale process was being managed.

“We understand some parties will be disappointed that they have not been invited to continue their interest,” said Vaughan Strawbridge earlier today.

Brookfield Asset Management pulled out of the race at the last minute. Photo: Virgin Australia.

One bid that took everyone by surprise

The surprise inclusion in the shortlist is New York based Cyrus Capital Partners. They had kept a low profile in the lead up to the submission of initial bids on Friday.

With a focus on North America and Europe, Cyrus is a newcomer to Australia’s commercial scene. But it does have a history with Richard Branson, having made a motza investing with him in Virgin America in 2005. Richard Branson remains keen to be involved in a rebooted Virgin Australia.

Less successful was Cyrus Capital Partners’ play with Virgin Atlantic and Stobart Group to buy out Flybe in early 2019. Flybe went into administration earlier this year.

Richard Branson has ties to at least 2 shortlisted bidders. Photo: Virgin Australia.

Local favorite balks at conditions imposed by airline administrator

Also making the shortlist was local favorite BGH Capital. The well connected private equity firm has teamed up with superannuation fund Australian Super and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings. BGH Capital had reportedly balked at some of the sale conditions imposed by Deloitte, refusing until this morning to sign a confidentiality agreement.

Vaughan Strawbridge stood by his bidding conditions, today saying;

“We cannot comment on who the shortlisted parties are due to confidentiality commitments, but we will be working intensely with them over the next four weeks to enable binding offers by mid-June. 

“This will involve the sharing of more detailed financial and operational information, management workshops, and meeting with as many of the financiers, landlords, suppliers, unions, and other stakeholders of the business as possible.”

BGH Capital waited until the last minute to sign a confidentiality agreement in order to remain in the bidding race. Photo: Virgin Australia.

Richard Branson lurks, has ties with more than one shortlisted bidder

Another potential owner that made the shortlist is Bain Capital. The private investment firm owns Trans Maldivian Airways. Their bid for Virgin Australia has links with Australian’s sovereign wealth Future Fund and Bain are expected to invite further interested parties to the table as it works on its final, binding bid due in June.

Richard Branson also has ties with Bain Capital, both having stakes in Virgin Cruises.

“Richard wants to be in there somewhere. He wants to link up with whoever looks like winning,” one industry commentator told The Australian today.

Bill Franke would turn Virgin Australia on its head

The final bidder that made the shortlist is Arizona based Indigo Partners. The owner of several low-cost airlines declined to comment when previously approached by SImple Flying. Should their bid ultimately succeed, there would likely be a seismic shift in the culture and operations at a rebooted Virgin Australia.

There’s optimism that Virgin Australia will keep flying in one form or another. Photo: Getty Images.

However, Indigo’s ownership of two airlines (Frontier Airlines and Wizz Air) that have recently received government assistance is capturing attention in Australian corporate circles. Some have questioned how and why a business could take government assistance on the one hand, while simultaneously trying to buy out another airline.

But the upshot is that it’s looking likely Virgin Australia will keep flying under one guise or another. That will be a relief for the airline’s many stakeholders, including employees, suppliers, and secured creditors.

“We are confident we can achieve, and our objective remains to deliver a revitalized, viable, and profitable airline under new ownership,” said Mr Strawbridge on Friday.

Final binding bids are due on June 12.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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