In its first order since 2007, International Least Finance Corporation (ILFC) signed a memorandum of understanding for 75 A320neo and 25 A321neo aircraft, 60 of which will be powered by the Pratt & Whitney PW1133G engine.
There are a lot of moving parts to this order, including the fact that ILFC has traded in its 10 A380 as part of the deal.
The engine selection marks the first time an Airbus customer has selected a powerplant for the re-engined narrowbody, opting for the Pratt's geared turbofan architecture over CFM's Leap-X engine. IndiGo, Virgin America and TAM have all placed orders for the A320neo, though none had indicated an engine choice.
With a 2016 delivery for its first A320neo, Airbus will likely fly the P&W model in flight test ahead of Leap-X. John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer, says Republic Airways is in talks with the airframer to buy the A320neo, which may present an interesting single-engine core strategy with the PW1500G set to power its Bombardier CS300 aircraft. If Republic moves in this direction the 70-90-seat PW1000G-powered MRJ could be on the table as well, allowing the carrier to leverage a common engine across its entire fleet.
In addition to the 100 A320neo family aircraft, Boeing received an order for 33 737-800s for delivery starting in 2012. This raises the lessor's total 737 orders to 463 aircraft since 1978. The order further bolsters Boeing's near-term production rate increases and adds to the more than 2,100 unfilled 737 orders, enough for a half-decade's worth of production.
Photo Credit Airbus