(Updates with comments from chairman of Alafco starting in second paragraph.)
Nov. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Airbus SAS won a firm order from Aviation Lease & Finance Co. of Kuwait for 50 A320neo single- aisle planes valued at $4.6 billion at list price.
Alafco also took an option for an additional 30 of the planes, which are designed to use less fuel than earlier versions of the A320, the companies said at the Dubai Airshow today.
“We are talking long term with this order,” Alafco Chairman Ahmad Al Zabin said at a press conference, when asked whether he was concerned about the global economic situation. “What’s happening now in the world is short term. When you look into the long term, and the cyclical nature of aviation, there have been wars, fuel crises, but at end of the day it stabilizes and reboots.”
With increasing fuel costs, airlines are looking at more fuel-efficient aircraft. The A320neo burns 15 percent less fuel than the previous A320 model. Safat, Kuwait-based Alafco already has 26 A320s on order, of which it received 25. Today’s order is scheduled for delivery from 2017 to 2021, Zabin said.
Alafco has an order for 18 Airbus A350-900 planes and has found customers for 12, according to Zabin.
Airbus has pushed back its planned entry into service of A350 aircraft by as much as six months as some parts arrive late, marking a setback in the planemaker’s effort to challenge Boeing Co.’s dominance in wide-body jets.
“These things are expected because you’re talking about a new concept and a new design and we fully understand how to go through the design phase and delays will have to be accepted,” the chairman said.
Alafco’s profit for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30 rose to 47 million dinars ($170 million) from 10.8 million a year ago, the company said last month.
--With assistance from Stefania Bianchi in Dubai. Editors: Thomas Mulier, Tom Lavell
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