Airliner buying spree unabated

 - June 20, 2007, 12:45 PM

This week’s spate of large-airliner orders, many confirming previous announcements, continued on Wednesday as Airbus and Boeing unveiled further business. More new deals could be revealed today. For example, International Lease Finance Corp. is talking to Airbus about its unresolved requirement for about 16 A350 XWB aircraft.

Under an MOU, India’s Kingfisher Airlines yesterday “agreed to purchase” 15 Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-powered Airbus A350 XWBs (separate from five previously converted from the earlier A350 design), 10 A330-200s, five Trent 500-powered A340-500s and 20 A320-series aircraft. The A350s and A340s will permit services to the U.S., while the A330 allows Kingfisher to fly to Europe and the A320 provides short-haul transport.

Abu Dhabi national carrier Etihad Airways has signed a firm contract for eight A330-200s (including three freighters) and four A340-600s. The latest order will take the Etihad Airbus fleet to 44, including 23 yet to be delivered. Thai Airways International has ordered eight more Airbus A330-300s to provide additional capacity from next year and to replace older aircraft.

Russian flag carrier Aeroflot placed an order for 22 Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-engined Airbus A350 XWBs, confirming last March’s announcement. It has also agreed to buy five CFM56-5-powered A321s and will lease 10 A330-200s.

Libyan carrier Afriqiyah Airways has agreed to buy five A350 XWBs for delivery from 2017 and has ordered five A320s.

A subsidiary of lessor Aircastle has signed a contract to acquire 15 Airbus A330-200F cargo aircraft.

Irish lessor Aircraft International Renting, a subsidiary of TAT Leasing, has ordered six ATR72-500s that will be delivered during 2007-10 and leased to Indian operator Jet Airways.