GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) has ordered 26 aircraft from Airbus Industrie, which will boost the leasing giant's Airbus portfolio to over 200 aircraft.

The deal includes 10 CFM International CFM56-5B/P-powered A320 and A321 narrowbodies. GECAS has also placed its first order for the A330-200, with a deal for 16 General Electric CF6-80E1-powered examples.

Deliveries of the A330-200s will begin in the second quarter of 2002, and continue until 2005. The incremental A320 family aircraft will be integrated into GECAS' single-aisle order backlog, which totals 119 aircraft, and calls for deliveries at a rate of about 15 aircraft a year through to 2006.

The A330 deal represents the resurrection of GECAS' orders for Airbus widebodies. Earlier orders for 13 A330s and A340s, which were inherited through the take-over of GPA in 1993, were progressively cancelled during the 1990s. GECAS has expanded its Airbus fleet through the acquisition of in-service aircraft.

Source: Flight International