Last updated: 14 November, 2011

Kuwait’s ALAFCO buys 50 Airbus A320neo planes

Kuwait-based leasing company ALAFCO on Monday signed an agreement with Airbus to buy 50 A320neo aircraft, valued at $4.6 billion at list price, the two sides announced at Dubai Airshow.

An option for an additional 30 units was also taken and was to be finalised by the end of the year, the companies told a news conference on the second day of the prestigious aviation show.

Airbus’ commercial director, John Leahy, said the value of the firm deal at list price was $4.6 billion.

“The firm contract signed today at the 2011 Dubai Airshow is an increase of the initial agreement made at the Paris Le Bourget Airshow for 30 A320neo aircraft,” said an Airbus statement.

ALAFCO, or the Aviation Lease and Finance Company, had signed an agreement during the Paris air show in June to buy 30 A320neos, a medium-haul passenger jet.

The company which provides leasing and finance in compliance with Islamic sharia law has already ordered a total of 26 single-isle A320 planes of which 25 have been delivered.

ALAFCO chairman Ahmed Alzabin praised the A320neo for the “significant fuel burn savings it offers,” saying the plane which is scheduled to enter service in 2015 has become a “must have in our portfolio.”

Airbus said the new airliner will deliver a 15-percent cut in fuel consumption thanks to latest generation engines and large sharklet wingtip devices.

It said the reduction in fuel burn was equivalent to 1.4 million litres of fuel, which equals the consumption of 1,000 mid-size cars.

“Higher fuel prices means airlines require fuel efficient aircraft and with the A320neo offering of 15 percent fuel burn reduction, it is the ideal investment,” said Leahy.

“The significant order from ALAFCO confirms that the neo ticks all the right boxes and is clearly the best product on the market,” he added.

ALAFCO has a fleet of 48 aircraft including several of Boeing’s single-isle 737 jets, the competitor of the A320.

It posted last month a surge in annual net profits to 47 million Kuwaiti dinars ($170.7 million) in the financial year ending September 30, up from 10.8 million dinars ($39.2 million) the year before.

Airbus has received more than 1,300 orders for the A320neo, and orders for 8,100 units of the A320 family with more than 4,800 aircraft already delivered to more than 340 customers.