Air Lease is working to place eight Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft originally bound for Primera Air Scandinavia before the carrier went under on 2 October.

The Los Angeles-based lessor expects to make announcements soon about placements of the aircraft, five of which are scheduled to deliver in 2019 and three in 2020.

“We have strong demand for each of these positions…and, we anticipate all these aircraft will be placed in the near term,” chief executive John Pluger told investors during an earnings call on 8 November.

In May 2017, Air Lease agreed a deal to lease eight 737-9s to Primera Air Nordic in a deal valued at nearly $1 billion at list prices.

“We’ve already got documentation in the works on a number of those,” Air Lease executive chairman Steven Udvar-Hazy told investors about interest in the aircraft.

"The narrowbody market is very hot," Michael Lapson, senior valuations analyst at Flight Ascend Consultancy, said on 1 October, the day Primera announced that it would cease operations.

"So far, there are very few A321neos and 737 Max jets delivered with a five-year order backlog," he said. "Storage is at an all-time low for narrowbodies, as well as availability of naked aircraft advertised for sale or lease, which indicates that there is high demand relative to supply for these jets. And in recent bankruptcies we did not observe any difficulties placing narrowbody jets."

Plueger says the lease rates being discussed are “in the same ballpark as is Primera”. He noted, however, that Air Lease will benefit from the security package that Air Lease had from Primera and this benefit will show up in fourth quarter results.

Due to the Primera insolvency, Air Lease’s 2020 placements stood at 82% as of 30 September.

At the end of the quarter, Air Lease’s fleet comprised of 268 owned aircraft, with a weighted-average age and remaining lease term of 3.8 years and 6.8 years, respectively. The company, which manages an additional 60 jets, has 386 aircraft on order, Flight Fleets Analyzer shows.

Source: Cirium Dashboard