SMBC Aviation Capital has signed an agreement with Airbus for the purchase of 65 narrowbody aircraft in a deal valued at $7.4 billion at today’s list prices.
The order is for 50 A320neos and 15 A321neos, and runs alongside a conversion of 15 previously-ordered A320neos to A321neos, giving SMBC a total of 30 of the larger variant.
SMBC had originally ordered 110 A320neos in 2014. By the close of 2018 it had already switched a pair of these to A321neos.
Its figures indicate that, once the new agreement and conversion are recorded, SMBC will have 145 A320neos and 30 A321neos on order. Seven of its A320neos had been delivered by the end of last year.
"The order ensures SMBC Aviation Capital is well positioned with A320neo deliveries well into the next decade," says the lessor.
"Demand for the latest technology aircraft has been strong both from our existing and new customers hence our decision to make this order," says chief executive Peter Barrett. "In the current environment, airlines are seeking more fuel-efficient aircraft."
The Dublin-based lessor, which focuses on latest technology single-aisle narrowbodies, has ordered a total of 277 A320-family aircraft from the European manufacturer.
“In 2018, the direct leasing market represented over 30% of our 800 worldwide deliveries – as much as Europe and the Americas combined,” says Christian Scherer, head of commercial sales at Airbus.
This article has been updated to clarify that the order and conversion are separate