GE unit said to order 25 Airbus jets

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Paris

Leasing giant GECAS, the aircraft leasing subsidiary of General Electric, has ordered 25 Airbus aircraft including a rare purchase of jets powered by GE’s rival engine maker Rolls-Royce, two people familiar with the matter said. The order includes 12 Airbus A330neo jets, for which Rolls-Royce is the sole engine supplier, and 13 A321XLR long-distance narrow-body jets. It was included in a new Airbus order tally but the name of the buyer was not immediately disclosed. Airbus and GE did not comment. If confirmed, the decision by the world’s second largest aircraft leasing company to invest in the A330neo would be a key endorsement for the A330neo program which has been clawing its way back from a period of weak sales and some cancelations. GECAS has traditionally prioritized aircraft powered by engines made by its parent company General Electric. Planemakers are gearing up for the Dubai Airshow from Nov. 17 which could feature confirmation of demand from leasing companies including GECAS, industry sources said. Decisions to invest in rival technology highlight competition to diversify portfolios in the leasing industry, even though GE is perceived as more closely aligned in the wide-body market with Airbus rival Boeing. The A330neo is a 250-300 seat upgrade of Airbus’s most-sold wide-body aircraft, the A330, which is offered alongside the slightly larger Airbus A350 family. Both aircraft are exclusively powered by engines from Rolls-Royce.—Arab News