Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian) has signed deals worth $21.5bn to buy 222 planes from Boeing and Airbus including models equipped with fuel-efficient engines.

The order includes 122 aircraft from Boeing comprising 100 new Boeing 737 MAX8s and 22 Next-Generation 737-800s, as well as 100 A320neo planes from Airbus. Norwegian CEO Bjørn Kjos said it was a historic day for Norwegian.

"The order is the largest ever in European aviation history and marks a major milestone in the company’s ten-year history. We have secured our fleet renewal for years to come and are very pleased with the agreements with both Airbus and Boeing," Kjos said. "Norwegian has now reached a size where we will benefit from having two suppliers in terms of ensuring adequate flight capacity, flexibility and competition between two manufacturers."

The order includes additional purchase rights for 150 aircraft from both manufacturers. The agreement with Boeing is worth $11.4bn, which involves purchase rights for an additional 100 737 MAX8s, while the deal with Airbus involves purchase rights for an additional 50 A320neo planes.

The 737 MAX is the new-engine plane and powered by CFM International LEAP-1B engines that offer fuel savings and reduce CO2 emissions by an additional 10-12%. The new aircraft will feature a single-class cabin layout, seating approximately 180 passengers. The A320neo is a new engine variant of the A320 Family expected to enter into service from 2015.

Norwegian will decide on the engine for the Airbus A320neo aircraft at a later date. Norwegian currently operates a fleet of 62 planes including 48 Next-Generation 737-800s and 14 737-300s, and the new aircraft will support Norwegian’s growth and modernisation plan. Following the deal, the airline has a total of 150 purchase rights and 277 aircraft due for future delivery including 55 previously ordered Boeing 737-800s and six 787-8 Dreamliners.

Image: The Norwegian order includes 100 new Boeing 737 MAX8 and 22 Next-Generation 737-800 aircraft. Photo: Boeing.