Aviation Capital Group is preparing major orders for both the Boeing 737 Max and Airbus A320neo as the large US lessor looks to expand its narrowbody fleet.

"We will add the [737] Max when Boeing figures out what they're going to offer us," said Stephen Hannahs, ACG chief executive, speaking at the ISTAT Europe air finance conference in Barcelona.

"We're definitely a buyer, Boeing is aware of that," said John Feren, ACG executive vice-president. "There is a scrum of leasing companies trying to get to the first in the line."

ACG is also "working on the contract" with Airbus to confirm an order for the A320neo, said Feren. "It is on our agenda to get it done - it's a 2011 project."

ACG has been given a "delivery stream" from Airbus but first deliveries would most likely be from 2017 at the earliest given the high level of orders for the type, said Feren.

ACG is looking at firm order volumes for both the 737 Max and A320neo of 30-50 aircraft, said Feren.

ACG expects to have more definition on the performance specification of the 737 Max in the next six to eight weeks, or "at least a satisfactory amount of definition to make an order", said Feren. The main area of uncertainty is around the engine configuration and especially the fan size.

The 737 Max is "going to be pretty close to the [A320] neo in performance terms", said Feren.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news