South African Airways (SAA) has completed a R500 million ($71 million) sale and lease-back deal with Safair of its 13 Boeing 737-200Advs. The transaction brings Safair's owned fleet to over 40 aircraft. SAA has taken two Boeing MD-81s on a short-term lease from Safair, due to the delay in the delivery of its new 737-800s, which are being reconfigured to the carrier's recently revised avionics specification. Moscow-based Eastline has acquired an eight-year-old Ilyushin Il-86 on lease from Vnukovo Airlines. The aircraft had been placed with a Kazakh airline, but the lease deal was never completed. Boeing received orders in May for six Boeing 777s and one 747-400 from undisclosed customers. Flight International's sister on-line service Air Transport Intelligence (ATI) reports that Canadian scheduled start-up CanJet Airlines will launch services this summer with six Boeing 737-200Advs leased from US Airways Leasing & Sales. CanJet is negotiating for more aircraft to be delivered in 2001. SATA Air Açores is acquiring two more ATPs from the asset management arm of BAE Systems Regional Aircraft. The first aircraft, ex-British Regional Airlines, was delivered in late May, with the second ex-Merpati aircraft due this month. AZAL Azerbaijan Airlines has received US Exim bank approval for a $66 million loan to help finance the acquisition of two new Boeing 757-200s which should join its fleet in June and July. Abu Dhabi-based Oasis International Leasing has purchased a Rolls-Royce Trent-powered Boeing 777-200ER operated by Malaysia Airlines from Singapore Aircraft Leasing Enterprise (SALE). Ten years remain on the airline's 12-year lease. Xiamen Airlines will receive the first of four ex-China Southwest Airlines 737-300s in August on a five-year lease from International Lease Finance. Cook Islands, Pacific-based Air Rarotonga adds a Saab 340B next month on leased from the manufacturer.

Source: Flight International