US lessor Aircastle is unimpressed by the Airbus A320NEO programme, with chief executive Ron Wainshal telling the FBR Capital Markets conference in New York on 30 November that it would have a negative impact on residual values of existing A320-family aircraft.
"This will be the first time in history where the same generation airplane will be replacing itself," said Wainshal. He calls the NEO a "half-way measure" that he predicts will be eclipsed by Boeing with a 737NG replacement model.
"I don't see lessees paying more for a fast-depreciating NEO than they do for current generation airplanes. I am very happy with the NG family we have, which is earlier production airplanes, because residual value exposure is much less than those in later years."
Airbus chief operating officer for customers John Leahy has brushed aside Wainshal's criticism. "Residual values will be affected in a positive way because [the A320NEO programme] keeps A320s in production for much longer," he says, adding that all-new aircraft programmes "trash" residual values.
"We expect significant orders from major lessors," adds Leahy.