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PARIS: GECAS maintains preference for larger narrowbodies

US lessor GECAS believes larger single-aisle aircraft in its portfolio have the greatest prospects, following its decision to order another 100 re-engined Airbus A320neo-family jets.

The lessor disclosed the firm agreement for the aircraft – a mix of A320neos and A321neos – during the Paris air show.

GECAS president Alec Burger said the feedback from customers regarding the re-engined jets was "very positive".

It has naturally selected the CFM International Leap-1A engine for the entire order – General Electric is a partner in the CFM venture.

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Burger says the agreement is a "continuation of a tremendous alliance" between the lessor and the airframer.

GECAS had already ordered 120 A320neo-family aircraft, according to Airbus's order backlog data to May 2017.

These comprised 87 A320neos – of which nine had been delivered – plus 33 A321neo, a pair of which had been handed over to customer Virgin America.

Airbus says the additional 100 jets bring the total GECAS orders for its aircraft to nearly 600, with 220 of them A320neo-family models.

Chief executive Fabrice Bregier says the deal "reinforces and extends" its partnership with the lessor, and makes GECAS the third largest customer for the re-engined family.

Burger says GECAS has not committed to the longer-range A321LR, although he acknowledges that the aircraft has "obviously great technology".

He adds that the lessor has little interest in the smallest variant in the family, the A319neo, which he describes as being "probably out of our strike zone".

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