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Air Lease CEO rejects AIG suit, nears Airbus order
BARCELONA, April 25 |
BARCELONA, April 25 (Reuters) - Air Lease Corp Chief Executive Steven Udvar-Hazy brushed off a lawsuit alleging the theft of trade secrets from U.S. insurance giant AIG, saying it would not distract him from doing deals to rent out aircraft to airlines.
American International Group has sued the co-founder and former chief executive of its aircraft-leasing unit, accusing him and other former employees of stealing several thousand electronic files of confidential information.
"We are focused on our business serving our customers and working with the airlines and ordering more airplanes," Udvar-Hazy told Reuters in his first reaction to the suit.
"We are focusuing on what we do best and I am not distracted by this."
Udvar-Hazy, widely credited with founding the aircraft leasing industry, co-founded AIG's International Lease Finance Corp unit in 1973 and resigned to run Air Lease Corp in February 2010. ALC said on Tuesday that AIG's lawsuit was baseless.
Speaking on the sidelines of the AFCA aircraft financing conference in Barcelona on Wednesday, Udvar-Hazy also told Reuters Air Lease was close to finalizing a $4 billion order at list prices to buy aircraft from Europe's Airbus.
Air Lease has a pending provisional order for 36 of the planemaker's revamped A320neo-family aircraft and has made plans to close an order for a further 16 such jets in January 2013.
"We have done all the work with Airbus and it is going to our board on May 10," Udvar-Hazy told Reuters.
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