EasyJet signs 24 A320 family sale and leasebacks

Source: Flightglobal.com
This story is sourced from Flightglobal.com

EasyJet has mandated sale and leaseback transactions covering a total of 24 Airbus A320 family aircraft.

In a conference call with analysts on the back of the carrier's 2012 results, easyJet's chief financial officer Chris Kennedy said the carrier had signed term sheets for 12 A319s and 12 A320s.

Trading sources said the UK carrier mandated a group of five lessors.

EasyJet approached the market in the spring with a request for proposals covering up to 12 A320 family aircraft.

At the time, the carrier asked for sale and leaseback proposals on either new A320s scheduled for delivery this year, or in-service A319s, or a combination of both. The A319s are 2005 and 2006-vintage aircraft, according to EasyJet.

EasyJet targets a fleet that is 70% owned and 30% leased. At 30 September, Easyjet's A319 fleet totalled 160 aircraft: 49 under operating leases and 111 owned or under finance leases. The carrier operated six A320s under operating leases and 48 under ownership and finance leases.

According to Flightglobal's Ascend Online database, EasyJet has 20 A320s scheduled for delivery this year. Another 11 A320s are due in 2013 while the remaining three are scheduled for 2014.

EasyJet is continuing to evaluate products from Airbus, Boeing and Bombardier, according to Kennedy. As a bridge to the arrival of next-generation aircraft, EasyJet retains 42 options for A320s with production slots available from summer 2014, he adds. These options must be exercised by 2015 at the latest to ensure delivery "all the way up" to the entry-into-service date of the newer aircraft.