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Irish-headquartered leasing firm in €6.8bn Boeing purchase deal

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Dublin-based SMBC Aviation Capital has placed an order for 80 Boeing aircraft in a deal worth $8.5bn (€6.8bn).

The company said the deal was the largest order of 737 Max-type aircraft by a lessor and the largest Boeing order of any kind from a Japanese-owned lessor.

The aircraft will be delivered between 2018 and 2022.

SMBC chief executive Peter Barrett said the company, which employs over 100 people in Dublin, expects a lot of interest over the next decade for such aircraft, with demand over the last three to four years greatest from Asia. "I expect that to continue. But we do see demand from Latin America and we also expect that over the next ten years there would be demand as fleets in North America and Europe begin to age and they will need to be replaced," Mr Barrett told the Irish Independent.

"It's not just an emerging market growth story, it's a developed market re-fleeting story."

A 737 Max aircraft will cost between $50-70m, depending on specification.

It would be leased for about $450,000-$500,000 per month.

Mr Barrett said customers have not yet been lined up for the aircraft, but with the first one due to be delivered in 2018, he said he expects that customers will be signed up within two years. Among SMBC's existing customers are Air China, Qantas, Virgin Australia and AeroMexico.

SMBC ranks among the world's top three aircraft leasing companies.

It owns and manages more than 370 aircraft valued at more than $10.5bn. It has more than 90 customers around the world.

Mr Barrett said he sees further potential for growth in aircraft leasing in Ireland.

Irish Independent