MIAMI, FL – MetroAir has decided to bolster their domestic narrowbody fleet in partnership with BOC Aviation of Singapore, by placing a firm order for a total of 51 Airbus aircraft, including 29 A321ceo aircraft and 22 A320ceo aircraft.
“We have increased our order for the A320 and A321 in response to the market trend and appetite for larger capacity single-aisle aircraft,” said Robert Martin, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of BOC Aviation, “Our incremental order reflects the continued popularity, confidence, and reliability of the A320 Family among our customers.”
The decision to invest in the A320ceo (Current Engine Option) Family as opposed to the A320neo (New Engine Option), comes as a surprise to some who know MetroAir’s history of aircraft acquisition.
“This partnership will allow us to match our fleet needs in the very short term, as well as fleet growth in the long term,” MetroAir Chief Executive Officer Matt Calsada explained, “We will see our narrowbody Airbus fleet grow by a net 24 airframes by year end 2018.”
Calsada’s remarks refer to the delivery schedule of the new aircraft; seven Airbus A321’s already delivered to BOC Aviation will be taken on by MetroAir before December. The remaining 44 aircraft will be delivered straight to MetroAir from their place of manufacture in Hamburg, Germany. Eight Boeing 737NG’s leased by MetroAir will be returned to Fly UK at the end of October, while 27 older and high cycle A320 Family aircraft will be retired in 2017.
When asked about the decision to bring in additional A32xceo aircraft as opposed to the re-engined A32xneo, Calsada eluded, “The A320neo Family isn’t available to us within a reasonable time frame or price right now.”
BOC Aviation, a Singpore based global aircraft leasing company owned by the Bank of China, currently owns a portfolio of 226 narrowbody and widebody aircraft, with 39 additional aircraft under management. It also has 223 additional planes on order.
The A320ceo family is the single largest component of BOC’s fleet, with 125 aircraft owned or under management. Conversely, BOC owns and manages 84 Boeing 737NG aircraft, with 49 737NGs and 61 737MAX on order. BOC has 48 A320neo and 16 A321neo aircraft on order.