A pick up in demand for longhaul aircraft is partially due to concerns about a fix for Boeing 787 battery problems, which have grounded the global fleet since 16 January, says operating lessor Air Lease, which boosted its widebody backlog by ten units yesterday.
"We saw it [demand] increasing towards the end of the second quarter  and it continues now," said John Plueger, president and chief operating officer of ALC, during an earnings call on 28 February. "I think some of that is probably attributable to concerns about the 787 resolution, but also based upon replacement and pure demand."
Although the lessor has increased its widebody orders in the first quarter, ALC's overall fleet mix target will remain at about "70-75% narrowbody and 25%-30% widebody", notes Plueger.
ALC agreed yesterday to acquire 10 new Boeing 777-300ERs, nine of which will deliver in 2014. The remaining aircraft will join the fleet in the first quarter of 2016. The new order will increase ALC's 777 portfolio to 22 aircraft.
Last month, ALC signed an agreement for 25 firm Airbus A350-900s and A350-1000 aircraft, plus five options.