Steve Udvar-Hazy's new leasing company is to close its first aircraft deal with Air New Zealand, which was also his first airline customer when he started ILFC in 1973, CAO understands.
The airline has agreed an operating lease contract covering two new Airbus A320-200s with Air Lease Corp, the new company formed by Udvar-Hazy. The 12-year operating leases will cover aircraft that are scheduled for delivery in January and February 2011.
The transaction is to close in the coming days.
Udvar-Hazy's inaugural deal to start ILFC 37 years ago involved the sale of an Air New Zealand Boeing DC8 to the lessor with a lease to AeroMexico in what is believed to be the world's first aircraft operating lease. Previously, Udvar-Hazy brokered his very first aircraft deal with Air New Zealand while attending UCLA as a student. He sold a turboprop Lockheed Electra to Reeve Aleutian Airlines from Air New Zealand in a $1 million deal.
Air New Zealand announced plans to acquire 14 A320-200s last November as well as 11 options. "Subject to final contract, the first A320 aircraft will arrive in January 2011, with the fleet to be progressively introduced through until 2016 coinciding with the expiry of 737 aircraft leases," said, at the time, ANZ Group General Manager short-haul airline Bruce Parton.
CAO understands that the first four aircraft, which will not be equipped with the new Airbus 'Sharklet' large wingtip devices, have been deferred.
Earlier this month Air New Zealand signed long-term leases on two new A320-200s with BOC Aviation. The aircraft, powered by V2527-A5 engines, are scheduled for delivery in November and December 2011.