MIAMI — Lessor AerCap Holdings NV announced that it has exercised options to purchase 50 Airbus A320neo aircraft. The orders add to the 48 A320neos that AerCap has already placed with customers out of 150 existing A320neo orders.
AerCap will take delivery of its first A320neo next year, and will take delivery of its first A320neo from this batch near the end of this decade. AerCap will retain purchase options for the A320neo, though specific figures were not released. AerCap has 945 Airbus aircraft on order, and is today Airbus’ largest customer.
The engine preference for AerCap between the two options for the A320neo was not revealed. President and Chief Commerical Officer Phillip Scruggs stated, “We as a leasing company will follow the market on the Pratt & Whitney GTF versus the CFM LEAP… We expect to see our aircraft split between the two engines”
The order does offer AerCap the option of up-gauging to the larger A321neo, which many observers expect to be a key market segment by the time these aircraft enter into operation. Aer Cap is the world’s largest independent lessor, by virtue of its recently concluded merger with ILFC, and despite 200 A320neos on order, has yet to purchase the rival Boeing 737 MAX.