BOC Aviation Places Order for 30 Planes From Airbus A320 Family

  • The Airbus planes have a total list price of $3.1 billion
  • BOC Aviation also ordered 22 Boeing aircraft late last year

BOC Aviation Pte., Bank of China Ltd.’s aircraft-leasing arm, ordered 30 Airbus Group SE A320 planes to expand its fleet and meet customer demand.

The Singapore-based leasing company ordered 18 A320neo and 12 A320ceo aircraft at the end of December, it said in a statement Thursday. The single-aisle planes are valued at $3.1 billion at list prices, before the discounts common in the industry.

“This order underscores our continued confidence in the reliability and operational efficiency of the A320 family aircraft, and reflects its popularity among our customers for short- and medium-haul routes,” BOC Aviation Chief Executive Officer Robert Martin said in the e-mailed statement.

The purchase adds to BOC Aviation’s order for 22 Boeing Co. 737 airplanes announced less than two months ago. Asia is one of the fastest-growing regions for airlines, with capacity more than doubling since 2010, and plane-leasing companies targeting China, India and Southeast Asia for growth, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.

Billionaire Interest

The demand has drawn the interest of investors including Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing and companies linked to the family of billionaire Cheng Yu-tung. Plane-leasing companies in China have been involved in more than $16 billion worth of acquisitions since 2014, boosted by the Chinese government’s call for local aircraft-leasing operators to expand overseas to benefit from rising travel demand. 

Bank of China plans to hold an initial public offering in Hong Kong for BOC Aviation, the bank said in October. The proceeds will be used to buy more planes and replenish working capital, it said. The bank plans to hold the IPO in the second quarter of this year and raise about $3 billion, Reuters reported.

The latest order makes BOC Aviation one of Airbus’s 10 largest customers, John Leahy, the planemaker’s sales chief, said in the statement. BOC Aviation had 270 owned and managed aircraft operated by 62 airlines, with commitments to acquire 241 more planes, according to the statement.

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