PARIS -- Indonesian airline Lion Air is to buy 234 short to medium range aircraft from Airbus for $24 billion, in what is being billed as the biggest civilian deal in the history of the aircraft manufacturer.
The contract was announced Monday at the French presidential palace, a sign of the deal's importance to the government. Airbus said it would secure 5,000 jobs at a time when French unemployment hovers around the 10 percent mark.
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Lion Air is buying 169 A320s and 65 A321 jets. The first planes will be delivered in 2014.
Airbus, the archrival of Chicago-based Boeing Co., is the civilian aircraft business of the European aerospace and defense company EADS.