DUBLIN, Nov 21 (Reuters) – SMBC Aviation Capital placed an order for 60 Airbus (AIR.PA) A320neo family aircraft, the world’s second largest aircraft leasing firm said on Tuesday, without disclosing the financial details of the deal.

Nikkei Asia, which first reported the deal, said it was thought to be worth around $3.4 billion, based on the A320neo’s market price.

The announcement comes days after Airbus’ main rival Boeing (BA.N) dominated the Dubai Airshow. Boeing won new orders for 196 aircraft while Airbus agreed deals for 55 jets amid soaring demand for wide-body planes.

SMBC, which is owned by a consortium including Japan’s Sumitomo Corp (8053.T) and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (8316.T), said the new planes boost its cumulative order book for A320neo and A321neo aircraft to 184 and ensure delivery through to 2031.

The Irish-based lessor, which now owns, manages or has orders in place for close to 1,000 planes, also reported a 75% increase in first half profit to $236 million.

It said the performance was driven by fundamentals within the leasing sector which have “rarely been so constructive”, citing the continued acceleration of short-haul air traffic globally at a time when the supply of aircraft is set to become increasingly constrained.

“This transaction is further testament of sustained global demand for technologically advanced, fuel-efficient aircraft, and comes amidst the continuing strong recovery in air travel worldwide,” SMBC CEO Peter Barrett said in a statement.

Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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