Virgin to sell six purchased A330s and lease back from AerCap

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Virgin Atlantic has signed letters of intent with lessor AerCap covering sale and leaseback of the six Airbus A330-300s it is purchasing from the airframer.

The twin-jets are part of an agreement by the UK long-haul carrier to take 10 of the type. It is already planning to lease the other four from AerCap.

AerCap says the lease periods are for 12 years, from 2011-12, meaning that the A330s will remain in the Virgin fleet long after the airline's Boeing 787s begin arriving in 2013.

The lessor states that it expects to finance the purchase of the six additional jets from Virgin under its current funding facilities.

"We expect to close the final negotiations with Virgin Atlantic shortly," says AerCap Group Services chief Soeren Ferre.

AerCap previously placed an order with Airbus for 20 A330s in 2006 and a further 10 in the following year.

Airbus' latest orders and delivery data, for May, shows that these 30 aircraft comprise a mix of 19 A330-200s and 11 A330-300s.

AerCap says that, as a result of the Virgin lease of four A330s, all 30 of these jets have been placed with customers.