Frontier Becomes First U.S. Customer to Buy A321XLR

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This clearly reflects Airbus successful strategy in offering customers longer-range aircraft in this segment.

"We have every confidence in Boeing and expect that the aircraft will make a successful return to service in the coming months having received approval from the regulators", IAG CEO Willie Walsh said.

Airbus is also in talks with leasing company GECAS and US airline JetBlue about potential A321XLR deals, sources familiar with the matter have said. "By building their future fleet with more A220s and the addition of the A321XLR - the most capable, longest-range aircraft in their categories - JetBlue is signaling a continued commitment to creating new opportunities for people to travel in both comfort and efficiency".

With this deal, IAG's combined Airbus orders will jump to 530, according to the manufacturer.

Airbus has already started pre-marketing the longer-range A321XLR which will allow airlines to offer long trips in narrow-body planes on routes where demand is too slim to justify taking the risk of trying to fill a larger wide-body. IAG is now an Airbus-only narrow-body customer and has said it plans to use the planes for its discount and leisure divisions, including Vueling and Level. The US planemaker strives to bring its top-selling 737 MAX jet back into service after its grounding following two fatal crashes.

"Airlines will be able to operate a lower-cost single-aisle aircraft on longer and less heavily travelled routes - many of which can now only be served by larger and less efficient wide-body aircraft", Airbus said in a statement.

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Airbus reported 383 orders and commitments including 239 for the A321XLR.

American Airlines is looking to replace its aging fleet of Boeing 757 jets, and the order for the A321XLR heightens pressure on Boeing.

This news comes during Paris Air Show week, in which Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Christian Scherer made headlines for saying the company had the technology to support pilotless planes.

However, issues with 737 Max forced Boeing to delay its announcement of the NMA (New Middle Market Aircraft). He told investors he expected to win more orders for the smaller A220, formerly known as CSeries. On an order of this size, the typical discount to the list price is likely to be more than 40% and could go as high as 60%, in this case, simply because the MAX family jets have remained grounded worldwide and could stay there until much later this year.

The memorandum of understanding includes 32 new orders and 18 conversions of existing A320 family orders.

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