ILFC and American discuss further aircraft leases

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International Lease Finance (ILFC) says it is in constant discussions with American Airlines regarding further aircraft leases, including the carrier's incoming Airbus A320 family aircraft.

"We're always in discussions with American," says Henri Courpron, chief executive of ILFC, at a 787 delivery event in Seattle today.

On a possible sale and leaseback (SLB) of some of the 130 A319 and A321s that the Fort Worth-based carrier begins taking delivery of in July, he says "maybe" and adds that there is always a step between discussions and a deal.

American has indicated that it prefers to lease the Airbus aircraft in US bankruptcy court filings. It received approval to lease the A319s and A321s from the court earlier in June.

As of May, the airline had financed all but one of its 60 aircraft deliveries since 2011 with SLBs, Flightglobal's Ascend Online database shows.

ILFC has 31 aircraft, including future deliveries, on lease to American, says Courpron.

International Aero Engines (IAE), supplier of engines for American's A321s, told Flightglobal in April that the carrier plans to split its order equally between 65 A319s and 65 A321s.

American says it is still evaluating how many of each type to take.

ILFC also leases aircraft to US Airways, which plans to merge with American in the third quarter pending regulatory approval.