ALAFCO, the Kuwait-based international aircraft leasing company, has signed a contract for 12 Airbus A350s with options on six more, reaffirming the commitment that it announced in June. It is the first leasing company to select the new jetliner.
Deliveries of ALAFCO?s A350-800s are due to begin in the third quarter of 2012.
?We believe in investing for the future, and the Airbus A350 is a great way to do that,? says ALAFCO Chairman and CEO Ahmed Al Zabin. ?Our customers in the Middle East and around the world will want the improved economy and range that the Airbus A350 offers and, when they do, we will be ready to supply it.?
ALAFCO has a diversified portfolio of commercial aircraft that includes the A320 and A300/A310 Families. Its main shareholder is Kuwait Finance House.
?Leasing companies are always a good pointer to success, since their business is built around anticipating airline needs,? says Airbus President and Chief Executive Officer Gustav Humbert. ?And as the first leasing company to have selected the Airbus A350, ALAFCO is well placed to capitalise on airline demand for it.?
Airbus? new A350 comes in two versions ? the A350-800 selected by ALAFCO, which can fly 253 passengers up to 8,800 nm/16,300 km, and the larger A350-900, which can seat 300 passengers on ranges of up 7,500 nm/13,900 km. Both versions feature the best economy in their class, as well as the lowest maintenance costs.
Both versions also feature a more spacious passenger-pleasing cabin with larger windows and greater headroom. In addition, passengers will be able to benefit from other Airbus advances, such as email connectivity and mood-lighting.
Incorporating the latest technologies, the A350 will have an unassailable advantage when it comes to fuel consumption and seat-mile costs ? as well as cash operating costs. The A350 will also retain full operational commonality with the current Airbus widebody long-range fleet by keeping most of their systems, allowing it to benefit from the ?family effect?, complementing the current leading A330/A340 family, with which it shares the same type-rating.
Airbus is an EADS joint company with BAE Systems.