A320 Family aircraft continue to seduce market
Air Lease Corporation (ALC), the recently formed aircraft financing and leasing company, has chosen to place its first firm order for new aircraft directly from a manufacturer with Airbus. The order is for 20 A321 aircraft and 31 A320 aircraft. The agreement was signed during a ceremony held today at the Farnborough International Air Show witnessed by Steven F. Udvar-Hazy, ALC Chairman and CEO, John L. Plueger, ALC President and COO, Airbus President and CEO, Tom Enders and Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers, John Leahy.
ALC was established earlier this year by the company’s Chairman and CEO, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy, founder and former Chairman and CEO of the International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC). ALC will purchase and lease commercial jet aircraft to airlines worldwide. ALC raised several billions of U.S. dollars of capital to acquire modern commercial jetliners and rapidly expand its portfolio of the latest technology aircraft.
"With a wide airline customer base, and the continued global demand for replacement and growth, the A320 and the A321 are an integral part of our fleet portfolio strategy. In today's airline world, low operating costs, fuel efficiency, environmental friendliness and maximum operating flexibility are important ingredients. The latest versions of the Airbus family of single aisle aircraft meet and exceed those high standards," said Steven F. Udvar-Hazy, Chairman and CEO of Air Lease Corporation (ALC).
“We are delighted to welcome back Steven Udvar-Hazy, one of Airbus’ most valued customers as founder and former Chairman and CEO of ILFC,” said Tom Enders, Airbus President and CEO. “The fact that ALC’s first order is for A320s and A321s clearly demonstrates his continued confidence in Airbus aircraft and in the A320 Family. We look forward to building a long-lasting relationship with ALC and we encourage them to continue investing in Airbus aircraft in order to offer their customers the most efficient and reliable aircraft.”
ALC will offer its customers the new fuel-saving “Sharklet” option that is available from the end of 2012 on A320 aircraft, to be followed by the A319 and A321 models from 2013. Sharklets are large wing-tip devices that will enhance the eco-efficiency and payload-range performance of the A320 Family. Offered as a forward-fit option, they are expected to result in at least 3.5 percent reduced fuel burn over longer sectors, corresponding to an annual CO2 reduction of around 700 tonnes per aircraft. This latest development has been part of the larger continuous improvement programme for the A320 Family which is supported by an annual investment in excess of 100 million euros each year.
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 (A318, A319, A320 and A321) is recognised as the benchmark single-aisle aircraft family. With more than 6,500 aircraft sold, and some 4,200 aircraft delivered to more than 310 customers and operators worldwide, the A320 Family is the world’s best-selling single-aisle aircraft family.
• See footage of this order’s announcement in the Airbus video gallery.