China-based lessor China Aircraft Leasing (CALC) has placed a $2.3bn order with Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) for 60 ARJ21-700 aircraft.

The deal includes a confirmed order for 30 ARJ21-700s and an option to purchase 30 ARJ21 series aircraft.

CALC will lease the newly ordered aircraft to an undisclosed Indonesian airline, in which CALC parent company Friedmann Pacific Asset Management (FPAM) plans to invest.

The first lot of the new aircraft is scheduled for delivery in the next one to two years, with plan to deliver the remaining aircraft of the confirmed order in the next five years.

Once fully delivered, the unnamed Indonesian airline will become the first foreign airline to operate an exclusive fleet of ARJ21-700 aircraft.

“The ARJ21-700 aircraft is a medium-to-short haul aircraft with the best operation efficiency in its type."

FPAM chairman Mike Poon said: “The ARJ21-700 aircraft is a medium-to-short haul aircraft with the best operation efficiency in its type.

“Therefore, FPAM has chosen Indonesia, an island country, as the first overseas market to operate a fleet solely with ARJ21 aircraft.

“In the last year, the operation team and I have spent a lot of time in preparation work in Indonesia, getting ready for eventual national aircraft exports.”

COMAC also plans to establish services network in Indonesia in order to provide technical support, on-going maintenance and customer services for the ARJ21 aircraft.

CALC deputy CEO and chief commercial officer Winnie Liu said: “CALC is in full support of the development of the national aircraft. In 2012, we have already ordered 20 C919 China-made aircraft from COMAC, and this agreement would further consolidate our bilateral strategic partnership.

“CALC has been actively pursuing overseas market opportunities, which is consistent with our strategy of sustainable development, as well as in line with the nations’ Belt and Road Initiative.

“Benefitting from the national policy of export financial support, combined with our existing diversified financing channels, we are able to acquire aviation assets with high potentials at relative low costs.”

The company currently has a fleet of 70 current-generation Airbus and Boeing aircraft with 103 Airbus orders to be delivered.

By 2022, CALC’s fleet is expected to expand to 173 aircraft.

In January, the company signed a new aircraft purchase agreements with Airbus for two more Airbus A320-200 CEO series aircraft.

Image: COMAC, FPAM and CALC entered into a tripartite cooperative framework agreement in relation to acquisition of ARJ21 aircraft. Photo: courtesy of China Aircraft Leasing Group Holdings.