US lessor Aviation Capital Group is ordering 30 Airbus A320neo twinjets, bringing the company's total A320-family portfolio to nearly 100 aircraft.

The lessor disclosed the deal during the Dubai air show.

Delivery of the aircraft will take place "late in this decade", said ACG chief Stephen Hannahs. "There's no doubt that this aircraft will be snapped up by operators worldwide," he added.

The lessor has not chosen engines for the jets. "It's important to have the engines that customers want," said Hannahs, adding that the company was evaluating both the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G and the CFM International Leap.

Airbus values the agreement at $2.7 billion at catalogue prices. The deal adds to the 68 A320s which ACG has already ordered.

"We may have taken more time than other leasing companies to make the [A320neo] selection but we wanted to test customer reaction, financial community acceptance, and the fit within the ACG long-term fleet plan," said ACG's executive vice-president of global marketing John Feren. "It passed with flying colours on all counts."

Hannahs foresees a "rough ride" in the global markets for up to six months, but said the company had been through several economic cycles, and was in a strong position to ride out the latest crisis.

"We fund ourselves independently in the capital markets," he said. "We have access to capital that a lot of our brethren may not."

He said there was a "lot of stress" in the markets, notably as a result of the eurozone turmoil, and added: "I suspect over the next six months the banks in the eurozone will be sitting on the sidelines."

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news