Will ILFC join the last minute order frenzy?

London
Source: Flightglobal.com
This story is sourced from Flightglobal.com

In this latest round of narrowbody aircraft orders from the lessors, one name has been absent: ILFC.

Earlier this year, ILFC founder and chairman Steve Udvar-Hazy said "ILFC is putting on its seat belt.”
 
The lessor has been slowing growth and focusing on strengthening its balance sheet in anticipation of a slowdown.

Now with lessors collectively closing out as many delivery slots as possible, will ILFC join in on the latest ordering spree before year end? And with a narrowbody order since its last two big orders have been for widebodies?

"By building up slot reserves, lessors gain the flexibility to trade sale and leaseback positions with airlines, which may be looking for later deliveries, " says a banker.   

Alternatively, the banking source suggests many lessors may already hold agreements with US airlines that need to refleet, but don't want to irritate labour relations by placing large orders.

At this year’s Paris Air Show, ILFC placed a new order for 50 Boeing 787s and exercised two existing options on the type. This takes its firm orders for the type to 74, making it Boeing’s largest customer for the 787.

The new batch of 787s means ILFC will take regular delivery of the aircraft between early 2010 and the spring of 2017.

In October, ILFC agreed a revised deal with Airbus to replace its original order for 16 A350 aircraft with 20 A350XWB aircraft.

In terms of narrowbody aircraft, the operating lessor has 39 Boeing 737-700s on backlog in addition to nine A320s and eight A319s.

Before last week’s order, GECAS had 67 Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft on order with 44 options as well as 81 Airbus A320 Family aircraft. Last week it added 53 737-800s to its backlog along with two Boeing 777-300ERs.

AerCap, through AerVenture, has orders for 68 A320 family aircraft.

Aviation Capital Group has orders for 45 A320 family aircraft, in addition to 41 737 Next Generation aircraft.

AWAS has grown its order book through the purchase of Pegasus Aviation’s portfolio. It holds orders for one 737-700 and six A320-200s through the acquisition. Last week it placed an order for 31 firm and 19 purchase rights for Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft. Market rumours suggest it will place a similar size order for the A320 family.

BOC Aviation holds order for 34 737 Next Generation aircraft and 20 options as well as 20 Airbus A320-200s.

CIT Group has orders for 13 737 Next Generation aircraft and 54 Airbus A320-200 family.