June 19, 2013
While International Lease Finance Corp. (ILFC) is interested in Boeing’s 787-10, the lessor is signaling that no order is imminent.
ILFC is “obviously following every development” with the -10 version, says CEO Henri Courpron on the sidelines of the Paris air show. But he notes that ILFC is already the largest customer for the 787, “and I don’t think it’s a priority for us to take more 787s.”
The first of the lessor’s 74 787 orders is due to be handed over next week in Seattle, for Norwegian Air Shuttle. ILFC has a lot of flexibility in its 787 orders, and although the initial deliveries will be 787-8s, the company is expected to predominantly take the -9 version.
When asked if ILFC could convert existing 787 orders to the -10, Courpron says “we probably could, but I don’t know why we should.” He notes that ILFC “really likes” the -9. “We see very good demand for it, so we are sticking with those [orders].”
Courpron notes that ILFC is large enough that it could eventually order the -10 in its own right rather than converting existing orders. However, he says that “when the time is right, we will speak to Airbus and Boeing” about their competing models in that size range.
Regarding ILFC’s recently announced intention to order 50 of Embraer’s next-generation E2 family, Courpron says the large number of current-generation E-Jet operators will provide a good prospective customer base for the lessor. “These are the most obvious customers for the E2,” Courpron says. By the time the first of the ILFC E2s are delivered in 2018, Embraer estimates there will be more than 1,500 of its current-generation aircraft in operation with 65 customers.
Courpron says Bombardier’s competing CSeries “looks like a good product.” However, he notes that in this case a new customer base would have to be created. Because of this, “we didn’t feel comfortable enough to invest in that product,” he says.
ILFC intends to split its E2 order between the 190 and 195 models.
There is “great potential” in Europe for these models, and there is also “a good opportunity to put them in Asia, including in China.”