Doric Lease Corp has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the purchase of 20 A380s at the 50th Le Bourget Airshow.
The agreement was signed on the first day of the Paris Air Show by Mark Lapidus, CEO of Doric Lease Corp; and John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer, customers.
With this investment, Doric will offer a tailored Airbus A380 leasing solution and will make the aircraft accessible to both new and existing A380 operators around the world who prefer to opt for the flexibility of an operating lease.
According to Airbus, Doric already has significant experience with the A380, ranking as the third largest widebody lessor worldwide by aircraft value, and the world’s largest asset manager of leased A380s.
Doric has a $6 billion aircraft portfolio under management, including 18 A380s acquired through sale-leaseback arrangements.
“The A380 offers us a unique opportunity to continue growing Doric’s aviation platform by establishing ourselves as a lessor with a forward-order portfolio of 20 A380s to market with existing and new customers worldwide,” says Lapidus.
“We will be able to provide turn-key A380 ownership solutions to airlines, allowing them to benefit from operating this fantastic aircraft,” Lapidus adds. “The A380 offers airlines a great opportunity to provide a superior product and travel experience while strengthening revenue generation.”
Lapidus told reporters during a press briefing at the Paris Air Show on June 17 that the 20 A380s Doric plans to order probably is not enough to meet the leasing demand his company is seeing for the giant aircraft.
Based on airline contacts already made by Doric, Lapidus says he believes there is a “pent up demand just under the surface” for A380s from various airlines which do not operate the aircraft or have not yet ordered them.
“With the leasing solution we are bringing to the table, we believe that many of those airlines will ‘cross the line’,” Lapidus told reporters.
“Airbus has rightly sized this aircraft: with 550 seats, its economics currently are unbeatable, and it will be very competitive with airplanes in the future – especially as we see rapid growth of the 400-seat routes around the globe, which will continue to accelerate.”
The Doric MOU announced on June 17 is to be followed by a final purchase agreement for the 20 A380s in the next several months, according to Lapidus. Deliveries will begin in 2016.
“This is a logical step forward based on Doric’s involvement in the A380 since it came into service in October 2007,” Lapidus says.
“We uniquely know its performance capabilities, we see – and experience – its unrivaled product offering, and we watch how certain airlines not only grow their market share but also increase the yield by operating this aircraft,” adds Lapidus. “The A380 creates new passenger traffic, along with new economic activity by making it easier and more pleasant for passengers to travel.”
Lapidus said that based on the company’s list of potential A380 leasing customers, he expects all 20 superjumbos probably to be placed on lease with two or three airlines.
“This is why I think we may not have enough with our current agreement,” adds Lapidus.
Based in Dublin, Ireland, Doric is the world’s third largest widebody-leasing company, and the 11th largest commercial aircraft lessor worldwide.
Since first entering service in 2007, the A380 has joined the fleets of nine major carriers. The aircraft is capable of flying 8,500 nautical miles (15,700 kilometers) non-stop. According to Airbus, the A380’s quiet cabin and smooth ride have made the superjumbo a favorite with both airlines and passengers, resulting in higher load factors wherever it flies.
The total A380 fleet has accumulated over 920,000 flight hours in close to 110,000 commercial flights. To date 40 million passengers have flown on board an A380.
Every six minutes, an A380 either takes off or lands at one of the 30 airports where it operates today and the network continues to grow, Airbus says.