GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), the commercial aircraft leasing and financing arm of General Electric [NYSE: GE], has signed a firm order for 60 additional A320 family aircraft. This new order brings the total number of A320 family aircraft ordered by GECAS to 327 and the backlog of aircraft to be delivered to 99 aircraft.
“We’re pleased to announce the growth of our A320 fleet with this new order today,” said Norman C.T. Liu, president and CEO of GECAS. “We have a solid track record of placing A320s with our customer base across the world.”
“GECAS’ order is a further demonstration of the strong demand for the A320 family and underlines its attractiveness to leasing companies, who are returning to the market with full steam,” said Tom Enders, Airbus President and CEO. “The low operating costs and proven high dispatch reliability offered by the A320 family make it the preferred choice for operators in all sectors, and a strong asset for the GECAS portfolio.”
GECAS customers will be able to select the Sharklet option for aircraft to be delivered from the end of 2012. Sharklets have been developed to enhance the eco-efficiency and payload-range performance of the A320 family resulting in at least 3.5 percent reduced fuel burn over longer sectors.
Airbus aircraft share a unique cockpit and operational commonality, allowing airlines to use the same pool of pilots, cabin crews and maintenance engineers, bringing operational flexibility and resulting in significant cost savings.
The A320 Family, which includes the A318, A319, A320 and A321, is recognised as the benchmark single-aisle aircraft family. More than 6,500 Airbus A320 Family aircraft have been sold to more than 310 customers and operators worldwide, making it the world’s best selling commercial jetliner ever. With proven reliability and extended servicing periods, the A320 Family has the lowest operating costs of any single aisle aircraft. Uniquely, the A320 Family offers a containerized cargo system, which is compatible with the world-wide standard wide-body system.