Aviation Capital Group mulls adding A350-900 to portfolio

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Aviation Capital Group is examining whether to add another widebody type to its leasing portfolio with the addition of the Airbus A350.

"We are just starting our analysis, but the A350-900 seems to be the sweet spot of the market," said John Feren, ACG executive vice-president, speaking at the ISTAT Europe air finance conference in Barcelona.

ACG, which has traditionally been a narrowbody lessor, is seeking to add more widebodies to its portfolio, said chief executive Stephen Hannahs. It first ordered widebodies in 2007 with a firm contract for five Boeing 787s.

However, ACG is more likely to enter the A350 market via the sale-and-leaseback route rather than with an order from Airbus, said Feren.

"We haven't made up our mind," he said, but it is expected there will be a lot of sale-and-leaseback activity on both A350s and 787s as airlines that have ordered them near the point of delivery. This would be a good market entry point for ACG.

The lessor was originally scheduled to take delivery of its first 787s around 2013. "We don't have a definitive commitment from Boeing on delivery positions," he said. However, with demand for the aircraft expected to be strong, Feren is not overly concerned about the several year delivery delay.