27 April, 2023

Leasing giant Avolon to order 40 Boeing 737 MAX jets

The international aircraft leasing company giant Avolon has announced a commitment to order 40 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft with delivery scheduled to be between 2027 and 2030, despite more production line issues and problems. 

Avolon delivered the first 737 MAX in 2017, along with the one thousandth 737 MAX earlier this year and this will increase the overall size of Avolon’s owned, managed and committed fleet to 870 aircraft.

Andy Cronin, CEO of Avolon, commented: "This commitment with Boeing underlines our confidence in the positive momentum in the aviation market, and increases our portfolio of young, modern, fuel-efficient aircraft. With strong demand for our new technology order book, and delivery slots at a premium, it strengthens and extends our delivery profile with Boeing. This commitment will also support our airline customers who are looking to plan beyond the robust post-Covid traffic recovery and prepare for future growth, while also reducing their carbon emissions."

The transaction is subject only to approval by shareholders of Bohai Leasing Co., Ltd., Avolon’s 70% shareholder, which is anticipated before the end of May. The actual cost of the deal has not been disclosed, however, as usual, with large multi-aircraft orders to existing customers, discounts of 20-30% on list prices are not unusual.  

Boeing recently announced that a supplier had revealed that the installation of fittings at the rear of 737 MAX jets did not follow the standard and warned there could be delays.  Whilst Boeing assured the issue was not an "immediate safety of flight issue" many have doubted the sincerity of the words, recalling previous Boeing statements about the risks of other issues encompassing the safety of the 737 MAX. 

The jets have been beset with problems and issues since the two crashes that led to a year-long grounding of the type. In-flight issues surrounding the horizontal stabiliser, autopilot, and engines have all caused concern. Some airlines indicate privately that the savings promised by the manufacturer have not yet been seen in 'real-world' operational use and are clouding the future.