Aircraft lessor SMBC Aviation Capital has signed an agreement to purchase 65 A320neo Family aircraft from Airbus for more than $7.4bn at list prices.

The order includes 15 A321neo and 50 A320neo aircraft.

It also includes an upsizing of 15 A320neo from a previous order to 15 A321neo aircraft, thereby bringing SMBC Aviation Capital’s total order for the aircraft type to 30.

The newly placed order is in addition to a previous deal reached between the companies last March for six A320neo planes. It also brought SMBC Aviation Capital’s total number of owned, managed and committed aircraft to more than 720.

“The make-up of our order book positions us very well for the future to deliver on those needs.”

Airbus’ A321neo family of single-aisle aircraft is equipped with wider cabins and offers longer range. The aircraft facility is designed to enable airlines to expand their networks on new longer-haul routes.

SMBC Aviation Capital CEO Peter Barrett said: “Demand for the latest technology aircraft has been strong both from our existing and new customers, hence our decision today to proceed with this order.

“In the current environment, airlines are seeking more fuel-efficient aircraft.

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“The make-up of our order book positions us very well for the future to deliver on those needs.”

SMBC Aviation Capital has so far placed a total of 277 orders with Airbus for A320 family aircraft.

Airbus chief commercial officer Christian Scherer said: “As one of the world’s leading aircraft lessors, SMBC Aviation Capital’s repeat order demonstrates its financial astuteness in making wise investments in the A320neo Family.

“In 2018, the direct leasing market represented over 30% of our 800 worldwide deliveries – as much as Europe and the Americas combined.”