UPDATE 1-AIRSHOW-Air Lease Corp becomes launch customer for Airbus A330neo

Mon Jul 14, 2014 6:57am EDT

(Adds more comments from ALC)

FARNBOROUGH, England, July 14 (Reuters) - U.S. aircraft leasing company Air Lease Corp became the launch customer for Airbus' revamped A330 passenger jet on Monday with a memorandum of understanding for 25 A330-900neo aircraft.

Airbus kicked off the Farnborough Airshow on Monday by announcing the launch of the revamped twin-aisle jet, which comes with new, more fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce engines.

Air Lease had been one of those pushing for Airbus to revamp the jet and said on Monday it thought the move would extend the life of the top-selling A330 family by at least another 20-25 years.

"There is a compelling price difference between the A330neo and any other wide body. I think it was a very smart, astute move on the part of Airbus," Air Lease President and Chief Operating Officer John Plueger said.

ALC will start receiving its first A330neos in 2018.

ALC also announced a firm order for 60 A321neo aircraft, for which it would select the engines at a later date.

Airbus said the Air Lease Corp order was worth $14.1 billion in total at list prices. (Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Mark Potter)

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