Aviation News

March 8, 2011

ILFC Orders 133 New Airbus and Boeing Jets, Cancels A380 Deal

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International Lease Finance Corp. (ILFC) has placed its first aircraft order since 2007, inking separate deals for 100 new Airbus A320neo-family jets and 33 Boeing 737-800s.

Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737-800 in ILFC livery

Artists' renderings of the Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737-800 in ILFC livery. (Images courtesy of Airbus and Boeing)

The Airbus memorandum of understanding — signed at Asian Aerospace 2011 in Hong Kong — is broken down into 75 A320neo and 25 A321neo jets, the first order for the larger variant. At least 60 of the aircraft will be powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1133G geared turbofan engines, marking the first A320neo-family orders in which the purchaser chose an engine. The CFM Leap-X engine is also available, but previous A320neo order announcements had not disclosed which engine the customer would sling under the wings.

Airbus was also dealt a blow, as a condition of the A320neo order involves canceling ILFC’s order for 10 A380 superjumbo jets. “With 104 wide bodies on order and fewer than a dozen single aisles it makes perfect sense to rebalance our order book and position ILFC strategically on the fuel-efficient neo,” said ILFC’s CEO, Henri Courpron. ILFC had been the only lessor to order the passenger version of the A380, and had previously dropped their order for the freighter version of the plane.

ILFC also placed an order for 33 Boeing 737-800 jets worth $2.6 billion at list prices. The new planes, scheduled to begin delivery in 2012, will be outfitted with Boeing’s performance improvement package, which promises to improve fuel efficiency by two percent through tweaks to the engine and aerodynamics.

A subsidiary of beleaguered insurance giant AIG, ILFC has not purchased any aircraft since its parent company required a massive bailout by the US federal government. Since then, its iconic founder and CEO, Steven Udvar-Hazy, left the firm to start a new company, Air Lease Corp.