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.
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.