msnbc.com news services
updated 6/22/2011 3:18:06 PM ET 2011-06-22T19:18:06

Indian low-cost carrier IndiGo has ordered 180 Airbus aircraft, including 150 of the European aviation company's new A320neo fuel saving jets, in what Airbus called Wednesday "the biggest order in aviation history."

The remainder of the 30 aircraft will be Airbus' standard A320 single-aisle short and medium haul jets.

Airbus said the A320neo is 15 percent more fuel efficient than the older model thanks to a new engine and modified wingtips.

The firm order follows a memorandum of understanding signed by the two companies in January. Airbus said then that the deal was worth $15.6 billion at list prices.

The order is the largest ever submitted to a single company in terms of planes. The previous record was an order by China's Central Aircraft Sales Corp. for 150 aircraft each from Airbus and Boeing in 2005.

Airbus also said Wednesday Chilean carrier LAN Airlines has ordered 20 of its A320neo fuel efficient aircraft. Airbus has racked up more than 600 orders and committments since it launched the A320neo last December as rising fuel prices have pushed airlines to look for more fuel-efficient aircraft.

Airbus outsold U.S. rival Boeing Co in the first two days of the show, notching up around $26 billion of orders dominated by sales of its revamped A320neo family.

Boeing is yet to decide whether to upgrade or redesign its top-selling single-aisle 737 as competition mounts from manufacturers in Brazil, Canada, China and Russia in the largest aircraft segment.

Boeing has announced orders worth some $19 billion at the show, dominating sales of more expensive wide-body aircraft.

The healthy demand from buyers has provided evidence that a solid upswing in civil aviation is underway, powered by emerging markets in Asia. High fuel prices have also given buyers a new sense of urgency to buy fuel-efficient planes.

Airbus believes it has the upper hand with the A320neo, whose more efficient engines save airlines 15 percent in fuel costs, according to the company.

Boeing conceded it might lose some custom while it ponders the future of its 737. The company said on Sunday it would decide by year-end on its new strategy.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

Photos: Paris Air Show 2011

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  1. A Fouga aerobatic plane performs in front of the moon during a demonstration flight at the 49th Paris Air Show at Le Bourget airport, east of Paris, on Saturday, June 25. (Francois Mori / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. A visitor checks out the cargo bay of the Boeing 747-8F that flew from Everett, Wash., to Le Bourget. It was the first transatlantic flight of an aircraft powered by a sustainable biofuel mix. (Didier Saulnier / Zuma Press) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Visitors walk among the ballast water tanks of the Airbus A380 during a visit inside the test aircraft used for demonstration flights at the 49th Paris Air Show on June 25. (Francois Mori / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. A Dassault Rafale fighter takes part in a flying display during on June 25. (Gonzalo Fuentes / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Onlookers watch an Airbus A380 on a demonstration flight during the first public day at the Paris Air Show on June 24. (Francois Mori / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Alphajet planes from the Patrouille de France take part in a flying display during the 49th Paris Air Show on June 24. (Gonzalo Fuentes / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Onlookers gather between aircraft during the first day of the 49th Paris Air Show on June 24. (Francois Mori / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. A Eurofighter Typhoon flies during a demonstration on June 23. The show is expected to be visited by 138,000 industry visitors and 200,000 members of the general public. (Etienne Laurent / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. An Airbus A380 takes off on a demonstration flight as a Boeing 787 waits in the foreground at the Paris Air Show 2011 on Thursday. (Etienne Laurent / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Lt. Col Chad Rauls, left, Captain Brandon Brown, center, and Captain Drew Marino, of U.S. Air Force 15th Airlift Squadron at Charleston AFB, South Carolina, pilot a Boeing C-17 Globemaster III during a demonstration flight. (Francois Mori / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. The interior of a Boeing C-17 Globemaster III of the U.S. Air Force's 15th Airlift Squadron at Charleston AFB, South Carolina, is empty for a demonstration flight at the 49th Paris Air Show.. (Francois Mori / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Pilot Hugues Duval in his twin-engined "Cri-Cri", one of the smallest planes in the world, is overshadowed by the Boeing 747-8FA during the 49th Paris Air Show at the Le Bourget airport near Paris on Wednesday, June 22. Duval holds the world speed record for an electrically powered aircraft after reaching the top speed of 262 km/h. (Pascal Rossignol / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. A F16 fighter jet takes part in a flying display during the 49th Paris Air Show at the Le Bourget airport near Paris on Wednesday. (Pascal Rossignol / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. A Korean Air Airbus A380 lands in background after a demonstration flight at the 49th Paris Air Show at le Bourget airport, east of Paris, Tuesday June 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Francois Mori) (Francois Mori / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (second from the left) visits the space dedicated to Russia at the Paris International Air Show on June 21 at the Le Bourget airport near Paris. (Pierre Verdy / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. The Eurocopter X3 Hybrid helicopter performs its demonstration flight at the 49th Paris Air Show at Le Bourget airport, east of Paris on Wednesday. (Francois Mori / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. France's President Nicolas Sarkozy, left, and Defense minister Gerard Longuet attend the flight demonstrations on the opening day of the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget, near Paris, June 20, 2011. (Reuters) (Pool / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Aerial view taken from an Eurocopter helicopter shows the tarmac with the planes of the Bourget Airport during the first day of the International Paris Air Show on June 20. The air show is expected to be visited by 138,000 professional visitors and 200,000 general public visitors. (Pierre Verdy / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. A Lockheed Martin F16 Fighting Falcon performs its demonstration flight, on the first day of the Paris air show, at Le Bourget airport on June 20. (Francois Mori / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. A Dassault 'Rafale' pilote salutes the crowd after a flight demonstration at the Paris Air Show 2011 at Le Bourget, Paris on June 20. According to the organizers, the trade show from 20 to 26 June will feature 28 international pavilions, 140 aircraft including an appearance by the solar aircraft 'Solar Impulse' and the opportunity to visit the air and space museum. (Etienne Laurent / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Visitors attend the first day of the rain-soaked 49th Paris Air Show at the Le Bourget airport near Paris on June 20. (Pascal Rossignol / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. A Dassault Rafale fighter jet takes part in a flying display during the 49th Paris Air Show at the Le Bourget airport near Paris June 22, 2011. (Pascal Rossignol / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. The demonstration version of the Airbus A 380 sits on the tarmac of the Bourget Airport, which clipped a structure damaging the right wing the day before the show's opening on June 20. (Pierre Verdy / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Red carpets can be seen from above at the 49th Paris Air Show at Le Bourget airport on June 20. (Pascal Rossignol / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. Rockets by the European Space Agency are displayed at the Paris Air Show, in Paris, France, on June 19. According to the organizers, the trade show from June 20-26 will feature 28 international pavilions, 140 aircraft including an exceptional appearance by the solar aircraft 'Solar Impulse', jobs and training area, an 'Alternative Aviation Fuels' village and the opportunity to visit the air and space museum. The International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget is expected to be visited by 138,000 professional visitors and 200,000 general public visitors. (Etienne Laurent / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. The new Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental jetliner lands at Le Bourget airport on the eve of the Paris Air Show June 19. The elongated Intercontinental is the world's longest passenger aircraft and has 51 more seats than a standard 747. (Pascal Rossignol / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. The damaged right-hand wing-tip of an Airbus A380, the world's largest jetliner, with a wingspan of almost 80 meters, is seen on the tarmac on the eve of the opening of the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget, near Paris, June 19. Airbus said on Sunday said it was pulling one of its flagship double-decker A380s out of a flying display at the Paris Air Show, compounding a series of embarrassing hiccups for the EADS unit at this year's big-ticket industry event. (Stringer/france / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. A crew member of a French A400M military aircraft looks out of his window as his plane moves into a static display on the eve of the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget airport near Paris June 19. The plane has been pulled from a flight display because of a gearbox problem. (Pascal Rossignol / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. A worker makes final preparations for a display of the GEnx engine by General Electric, at Paris Air Show, June 19. (Michel Euler / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. A Beriev 202 firefighting airplane releases water during a flying display two days before the opening of the 49th Paris Air Show at the Le Bourget airport near Paris, June 18. (Pascal Rossignol / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  31. Workers carry a "Barak" sea-to-air missile on a static display two days before the opening of the 49th Paris Air Show at Le Bourget airport near Paris, June 18. (Pascal Rossignol / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  32. A worker wipes an Agusta Westland 139 helicopter on display at the 49th Paris Air Show at Le Bourget airport near Paris, June 18. (Pascal Rossignol / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
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