Sept 4 The top salesman at Airbus said
a deal to sell 40 aircraft to Delta Airlines, unveiled
on Wednesday, included a "competitive" price for the jets.
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.
Leahy said his U.S. rivals had put up a tough fight.
"Boeing was a little desperate," he said.
Boeing said it had tried to win a deal that served Delta's
needs while protecting its own business interests.
"We continue working with Delta as it looks to address
future fleet needs," a Boeing spokesman said.
Aircraft are usually sold at discounts to official prices.
Leahy meanwhile refused to concede defeat in a widely
watched competition to sell dozens of large aircraft to Japan.
"We have not given up yet," Leahy said.
Industry sources said this week Airbus was struggling to
loosen Boeing's grip on Japan's two largest airlines, which need
to buy billions of dollars of planes in the next decade.
In another multi-billion dollar deal awaiting clarity,
Leahy said a pending order for up to 130 aircraft from American
Airlines would be in the Airbus order backlog by end-year,
regardless of the fate of its planned merger with U.S. Airways.
The deal does not depend on the outcome of court hearings
over U.S. government objections to the merger, he said.
However, since some of the planes may be supplied by lessors
who already have planes on order, not all 130 jets may be booked
as brand-new Airbus orders in order to prevent double-counting.
Leahy said Airbus would formally recognize the deal in its
monthly order tally once these allocations had been decided.