Wizz Air today signalled major fleet expansion with a deal for 146 Airbus aircraft worth $17.2 billion.

The eastern and central European budget carrier is to purchase 72 A320neos and 74 A321neos.

Deliveries will start in 2022, with the bulk of the aircraft to enter service in 2025 and 2026.

This follows the delivery of 110 Airbus A321neos ordered by the airline in 2015.

Today’s deal followed a competitive selection process and will bring Wizz Air’s outstanding orders with Airbus up to 282 aircraft.

The new order is subject to approval by shareholders.

Wizz Air chief executive, József Váradi, said: “Once again, Airbus has delivered the best overall mix of aircraft, cost efficiency, support and price.

“We are convinced that the Airbus A320neo and A321neo will be game-changer aircraft for Wizz Air, as we continue to grow at an industry-leading rate and expand our market reach across and beyond Europe.

“The next-step technology aircraft will enable us to continue to lower our operating costs as we drive towards our goal of Wizz Air being the lowest fare and lowest unit cost airline in Europe.

“Wizz Air will continue to stimulate demand for air travel in CEE and beyond by offering the lowest fares to our customers, while still delivering a great customer experience on-board one of the youngest fleets in Europe”.

Airbus also secured a record deal with airline investor Indigo Partners for 430 A320neo aircraft worth almost $50 billion.

Indigo co-founder Bill Franke said: “This significant commitment for 430 additional jets underscores our optimistic view of the growth potential of our family of low-cost airlines, as well as our confidence in the A320neo family as a platform for that growth.”

Indigo Partners has stakes in Wizz Air plus US-based Frontier Airlines, Mexico’s Volaris and Chilean carrier JetSmart.

The new aircraft for Wizz Air are part of the record Indigo Partners deal with the European manufacturer.