GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) announced today that it signed a firm order for 12 widebody Airbus A330neos as well as 20 long-range single-aisle A321XLRs. The commercial aircraft leasing and financing arm of General Electric will then offer these to airlines around the world for their passenger services. The announcement comes in the form of an emailed press release, with comments being made at the Dubai Air Show.
The agreement for the 20 A321XLRs includes 13 new planes but also the “upsizing” of seven A321s in its existing backlog. According to the press release, this latest order takes the total number of A330 family aircraft ordered by GECAS to 45. Furthermore, all variants of the A320 Family now total 588.
At the Dubai Airshow, Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer said the following:
“Having one of the world’s most respected and influential lessors invest in the A321XLR and the A330neo, speaks volumes on their global appeal, versatility and solid value as an asset. Airbus thanks GECAS on its wise investment and endorsement of the A330neo.”
There has been a little bit of activity in recent days coming out of Dubai. Low-cost Saudia Arabian carrier flynas has confirmed a firm order for 10 new Airbus A321XLR aircraft. The 10-plane order has a 2018 list price of $1.42 billion and is expected to begin in 2025. Meanwhile, Emirati based low-cost carrier Air Arabia has sealed a deal for 120 A320 family aircraft, also announced in Dubai. The order includes 73 of the high-efficiency A320neo variants, as well as 23 A321XLR.
Why these aircraft?
Ordering these new aircraft will make sure the offerings of GECAS stay competitive with other leasing companies. Having long-range, fuel-efficient jets available for lease is certainly more appealing than older jets which can’t fly as far and consume more fuel.
The A330neo offers quieter engines than its predecessor as well as a brand new wing (reducing fuel burn by 14%), a bigger range of +400 nautical miles, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, more seats onboard without reducing passenger comfort and better pressurization. The jet also reduces fuel consumption by about 25% per seat versus previous generation competitors.
- The A330-800 can carry up to 406 passengers (typically 257) to a range 8,150nmi / 15,094 km. This aircraft is weighted towards range and distance.
- The A330-900, as the big brother, can carry up to 440 passengers (average 287 in a three-class layout) to a range of 7,200nmi / 13,334 km. This aircraft is weighted towards passengers.
There is a little confusion about the actual model name of the aircraft. Airbus lists them as A330-800 and A330-900 but other sources, use terms like the A330neo (collective) and the A330neo-800. We will use all three terms interchangeably in general.
As for the Airbus A321XLR, it boasts “the longest-range [of a] single-aisle commercial jetliner ever”, and is capable of flying routes up to 4,700nm. New low-demand, longer routes are now possible with the A321XLR. The jet also offers lower operating costs, a reduced environmental impact, and a comfortable travel experience for passengers.
We asked GECAS when they expect to take delivery of these jets. However, we have not had a response as of publishing this article.