Air Lease Corporation (ALC) signed (04-Feb-2013) a contract with Airbus for 25 A350 family aircraft, consisting of 20 A350-900s and five A350-1000s. ALC also has options for five additional A350-1000s. With this new order, ALC becomes the 35th A350 customer and the order takes the A350 backlog to 617. Deliveries will be from 2018 to 2022. Concurrently, ALC signed a purchase order for 14 A321neo aircraft, following an earlier agreement announced at the 2012 Farnborough International Air Show for 36 A320neo family aircraft plus 14 options. With this latest confirmation from ALC, the lessor’s cumulative orders for the A320neo family have reached 50, of which up to 34 will be A321neo models. ALC will announce engine selections at a later date. [more - original PR]
ALC orders 25 A350s, adds 14 more A321neo orders
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The AirAsia Group is accelerating expansion in 2017 after deciding to lease 15 additional A320ceos which were not previously in its fleet plan. AirAsia now plans to take delivery of 32 A320s in 2017 (11 A320neos and 21 A320ceos) while returning three aircraft, for a net gain of 29 aircraft, marking its biggest expansion since 2013.
The AirAsia Group took delivery of only 10 aircraft in 2016 and originally was planning to take delivery of just 10 aircraft again in 2017. It initially slowed its fleet growth in 2015, with four deliveries, after several years of rapid double digit fleet expansion.
The AirAsia Group’s active fleet grew by only two aircraft in 2016 and shrank by two aircraft in 2015, when aircraft sales, leases outside the group and lease returns are taken into account. Fleet growth peaked in 2013 with 36 aircraft, before initially slowing to 18 aircraft in 2014 as market conditions became more challenging.
US airlines Part 2: LCCs and ULCCs face the same cost overhang as their larger rivals
US low cost carriers and ULCCs observed many of the same trends in the country’s marketplace at the end of 2016 as their large global network rivals – namely, that weak pricing trends in the domestic market were improving. Each airline has its own nuanced view of that general operating environment, but they feel encouraged by what they hope is an inflection point in pricing that will lay the groundwork for a return to positive unit revenue.
Those lower cost and ultra-low cost airlines also face similar challenges to their larger counterparts – cost pressure from new labour contracts and rising oil prices. And like their larger rivals, most of the lower cost US airlines are plotting lower capacity growth in 2017 as a means to improve their respective revenue performances.
For now, pricing improvement that began in late 3Q2016 and a bump in demand after the US presidential election are sustaining the cautious optimism expressed by US airlines as 2017 gets under way. But no US airline is ready to declare that pricing traction in the country’s domestic market is on a sustained upswing.
This is Part 2 of two reports examining the outlook for US airlines in 2017.