Last Order Of 2021? Aviation Capital Group Buys 20 A220s & 40 A320s

Airbus has notched one more order in the last hours of 2021. Lessor Aviation Capital Group has signed a deal for 40 A320neo family aircraft and 20 A220s, growing its fleet in the coming years. The order includes five A321XLRs, the plane set to reshape the long-haul market. Here’s a look at what could be the last order of the year.

ACG A220 A320neo
ACG operates a diverse portfolio of Airbus aircraft, including the A320 and A330 families. Photo: Airbus

Last minute

Airbus announced a new order on 30th December, just before the books for the year close. This one came from Aviation Capital Group (ACG), a lessor owned by the Tokyo Century Corporation. The latest order will see ACG increase its Airbus commitments from 39 to nearly 100.

The order consists of two aircraft families. ACG has placed a firm order for 40 A320neo jets, of which five will be A321XLRs. The remaining 35 will be a mix of the standard A320 and A321neo jets, which the group already owns. ACG has also signed an MoU for 20 A220s, expanding its fleet size for the versatile regional jet.

airBaltic Airbus A220
ACG already owns several A220-300s, with airBaltic as a major airline leasing from the group. Photo: airBaltic

Prior to the deal, ACG listed 39 firm commitments with Airbus and 17 with Boeing. The latest order means the European giant’s backlog is set to grow to 99, leaving the US-based firm far behind.

Riding the wave

For Airbus, the final hour deal wraps up an already strong year. The European aerospace firm has signed a series of deals since November. In a statement, CCO Christian Scherer said,

“The order is another gratifying endorsement of our single aisle products by one of the world’s premier aircraft asset managers, ACG and the Tokyo Century Group. It also forcefully confirms the A220 as a growingly desirable aircraft and investment in the commercial aviation landscape. We congratulate and thank ACG for its decision to select both the A220 and A320neo Families.”

Airbus A220
ACG owns over 400 aircraft, 96% of which are narrowbodies, and have an average age of only 5.6 years. Photo: Airbus

The ACG deal comes two days after another major lessor deal. Air Lease Corporation added 116 planes to its order book, including 25 A220s, 79 A321neos (incl. 20 XLRs), and 12 widebodies. It’s been a good week for Airbus, to say the least.

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Growing orders

After two years of uncertainty, aircraft manufacturers have bounced back in 2021. Airbus has certainly led the charge, with well over 500 deliveries in the first 11 months of the year and a series of important orders.

This includes the newly-launched A350F, which has attracted orders from carriers like Air France, Singapore Airlines, and lessors such as ALC and CMA CGM. The new aircraft type will help Airbus break into the freighter market and challenge Boeing’s long-standing supremacy thanks to the 747 and 777F programs.

Last Order Of 2021? Aviation Capital Group Buys 20 A220s & 40 A320s
The A350F is Airbus’ response to the 777F and future cargo competitors from the dominant Boeing. Photo: Airbus

While the sun is setting on 2021 (depending on where you are in the world), 2022 is looking like a strong year for aviation, with more orders and deliveries hopefully on the way!

What do you think about ACG’s latest order? Let us know in the comments!