Avolon believes Airbus is "keen" on the Irish lessor ordering the longer-range A321neo model.

The European manufacturer launched the 97t version in January and unveiled Air Lease as the first customer, the US lessor have signed a tentative agreement to take 30.

Seating 206 passengers, the aircraft will have up to three auxiliary fuel tanks, giving a potential range of 4,000nm.

Avolon has 20 A320neos on order, along with 10 Boeing 737 Max 8 and 10 Max 9 narrowbodies.

Asked if Avolon had conversion rights for the A321LR model, commercial chief John Higgins replied: "We don't comment on the specifics, but when we did our order, the A321LR was not a specific variant that was operable. But I will share with you that Airbus are very keen for us to order that airplane."

Higgins says Avolon has a dialogue with Airbus and Boeing on a 757 replacement.

"It is actually a broader aircraft discussion that that," he adds, recalling that there was about 1,000 757s produced during that type's lifecycle.

Higgins says the discussion is not about "operators out there" but is concerned instead with market size.

"What we're focused on is what is the scale of that market, how big a market is that, and does it sustain or would it sustain the production of a specific airplane type to support that?

"Would that, for example, be a single-aisle airplane such as the A321LR or could it be perhaps what's referred to as a light twin? We are in deep dialogue with both of the manufacturers in relation to that. But I wouldn't expect there to be an action out of that over the next, really, 12 to 24 months."

Source: Cirium Dashboard