PARIS May 9 The world's largest independent
aircraft leasing company, AerCap said on Tuesday there
was "good solid demand" for the wide-body jets, after concerns
surfaced in the U.S. about weak demand for the most widely
traded types of jets.
American Airlines and Delta Air Lines have
announced plans to defer deliveries of long-haul passenger
planes, amid reports of a looming glut of capacity of such
aircraft as planemakers bring out various new models while still
upgrading old ones.
AerCap Chief Executive Aengus Kelly said, after the company
reported higher quarterly earnings, that such discussions were
typical across the world.
He added that planemakers were prepared to absorb market
disruption by building a spare buffer into their order books to
offset their exposure to high fixed costs.
"The only way they can do it is to over-commit all the time
and that is why the order books of these guys have to be padded
with inevitable deferral requests," he said.
"And so what is happening with the U.S. airlines is nothing
unusual. It has just got more publicity, but discussions like
this are ongoing all over the world continually."
He also told reporters AerCap was studying a proposed larger
new version of Boeing's single-aisle jet family, the 737-10,
which industry sources expect to be launched in June.
"We are looking at the aircraft and we'll continue to
evaluate it," he said.
AerCap meanwhile has an unspecified number of mainly
single-aisle Airbus aircraft at Italy's Alitalia, which has gone
into administration. It said these represent below one percent
of its own portfolio.
"We are observing what is happening down there and speaking
with the airline," Kelly said.
Asked whether AerCap would lose money in placing them
elsewhere, he said: "We would have to make sure that if there
were any difference in the lease rental that we got from
Alitalia and what we could get from the new lessee, we would do
our best to be adequately compensated from the estate of
(Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta and