FARNBOROUGH: Hazy’s buying spree continues

Washington DC
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Steven Udvar Hazy's Air Lease venture continues its order sweep at the show as it handed Boeing and ATR 64 firm orders on day two.

Boeing commercial aircraft president Jim Albaugh believes Air Lease is "buying more airplanes than anybody here", as Hazy placed a firm order for 54 737-800s and six options.

Air Lease's Boeing order joins a firm order for 51 Airbus A320 family aircraft. Additionally, Air Lease signed a letter of intent for 10 Embraer 190s.

Many find Hazy's decision to purchase the 70-seat ATR 72-600 turboprop intriguing since his International Lease Finance portfolio rested on Airbus and Boeing narrow and widebodies.

Hazy speaks bullishly of the -600 version, calling it latest technological and most fuel efficient of the larger turboprops, "that offers the lowest cost to our customers".

The Air Lease chief executive says the primary emphasis on placement for the ATR 72-600s is markets outside the USA, and roughly 16 airlines have expressed an interest in the aircraft.

He believes the 106-seat E-190s Air Lease aims to purchase are "almost like mainline aircraft", and characterises the E-190 family as a "real success project in the 70- to 100-seat category".

Air Lease's order for 60 737-800s is the lessor's single largest order at the show, says company president John Plueger, and Hazy stresses the -800 version will "be a major part of our lease portfolio".

Hazy and Air Lease plan to focus mainly on narrowbodies and a limited number of 777s and A330s during the next 36 months, says Hazy. The company already has acquired 25-26 737-700s/800s and a number of other A320 family aircraft from operators and lessors, and plans to add two 777s in December and January. Hazy says Air Lease has also committed to four A330s.