(Corrects number of aircraft sold to 40 from 50)
Sept 4 The top salesman at Airbus said
a deal to sell 40 aircraft to Delta Airlines, unveiled
on Wednesday, involved a "competitive" price.
The deal for 40 aircaft is worth $5.6 billion at list
prices, but analysts said they expected Airbus to have offered
steep discounts to land its first Delta order in 20 years.
Sales chief John Leahy said Airbus was pleased to have won
Delta's backing for the deal.
"This was a competitive price, but I don't believe it was
any different from normal. We don't talk about detailed
pricing," he told Reuters in a telephone interview.
Boeing said it had tried to win a deal that served Delta's
needs while protecting its own business interests, but Leahy
said his U.S. rivals had put up a tough fight for the deal.
"Boeing was a little desperate," he said.
Aircraft are usually sold at discounts to official prices.
Asked about industry speculation that Airbus had suffered a
setback in a widely watched bid to sell aircraft to Japan, where
Boeing is strong, Leahy said, "We have not given up yet".
He also said a pending order for up to 130 aircraft from
American Airlines would be in the official Airbus order backlog
by the end of this year. Some of the planes may be supplied by
lessors, meaning not all 130 jets may be booked as new orders.
(Reporting by Tim Hepher; editing by David Evans)