Tianjin Airlines, West Air and Capital Airlines have acquired rights of first refusal to purchase or lease 55 Airbus A320 family jets from lessor Hong Kong Aviation Capital (HKAC).

The three airlines will pay $200,000 per aircraft in transfer fee to HKAC, totaling some $11 million. The transfer fee will be paid in two tranches, the first of which is due by 31 December.

Hainan Airlines has a stake in all three carriers and also HKAC.

A senior source at HKAC tells Flightglobal that the lessor has not entered into any aircraft sale or lease agreements with the airlines at present.

Should the purchase rights be exercised, it is estimated that the three carriers will need to pay HKAC a further $68.8 million in pre-delivery payments and other expenses, says Bohai Leasing in a disclosure to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. Bohai is the majority shareholder of HKAC.

HKAC finalised an order for 40 A320neo and 30 A321neo aircraft at the Farnborough air show this July.

Flightglobal's Ascend Fleets database shows that the lessor has 65 aircraft in service and another four in storage.

Source: Cirium Dashboard