US aircraft group signs up to major Airbus deal

Global full-service aircraft lessor Aviation Capital Group (ACG), wholly owned by Tokyo Century Corporation, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for 20 A220s and a firm contract for 40 A320neo (new engine option) family aircraft, of which five are A321XLRs.

The deal will be a boost for the Airbus wing making factory at Broughton, near Chester, which employs around 4,500 staff manufacturing wings for all the group’s commercial aircraft.

ACG chief executive and president, Thomas Baker, said: “We are delighted to expand our portfolio with additional A220 and A320neo family aircraft. These highly advanced aircraft will enhance ACG’s strategic objective to offer our airline customers the most modern and fuel-efficient aircraft available.”

Christian Scherer, chief commercial officer and head of Airbus International, said: “The order is another gratifying endorsement of our single aisle products by one of the world’s premier aircraft asset managers, ACG and the Tokyo Century Group.

“It also forcefully confirms the A220 as a growingly desirable aircraft and investment in the commercial aviation landscape. We congratulate and thank ACG for its decision to select both the A220 and A320neo families.”

The A220 is the only aircraft purpose built for the 100-150 seat market and brings together state-of-the-art aerodynamics, advanced materials and Pratt & Whitney’s latest generation PW1500G geared turbofan engines.

Featuring a 50% reduced noise footprint and up to 25% lower fuel burn per seat compared with previous generation aircraft, as well as around 50% lower NOx emissions than industry standards, Airbus says the A220 is a great aircraft for regional as well as long distance routes operations.

The group said the A320neo family is the most successful commercial aircraft family ever and displays a 99.7% operational reliability rate. The A320neo family incorporates the latest technologies including new generation engines and Sharklet wing tip devices, while offering unmatched comfort in all classes as well as Airbus’s 18-inch wide seats in economy as standard.

The A320neo family provides operators with at least a 20% reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The A321XLR version provides a further range extension to 4,700 nautical miles. This gives the A321XLR a flight time of up to 11 hours.

With this order California-based ACG is supporting the recently launched multimillion-dollar ESG fund initiative by Airbus that will contribute towards investment into sustainable aviation development projects.