Avation, an aircraft leasing company linked to Australia's Skywest Airlines, has signed a letter of intent to purchase an Airbus A320 that it plans to lease to Skywest.

The A320 "is currently in service in the UK and is at this time owned by" an international leasing company but Avation has paid an initial deposit of $150,000 to buy the aircraft, says Avation.

"The total cost of the aircraft to enter service is approximately $11 million with a base purchase price of $8.6 million," it says.

Avation gas secured interest free vendor finance in respect of $7.8 million over a three-year period, says Avation.

It says it plans to place the aircraft with Skywest on an operating lease and that it will announce later the details on this.

Skywest today operates a fleet of Fokker 50s and Fokker 100s on a scheduled and charter basis.

Skywest's managing director of charter operations, Hugh Davin, told ATI last October that the airline is aiming to add its first A320 in mid-2010 and hopes to add a second A320 soon after that.

It plans to use the A320 primarily for mining charters.

Skywest and Avation's chairman is Jeff Chatfield and several of Skywest's Fokker aircraft are leased from Avation.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news