SINGAPORE Feb 11 Airbus is putting the
finishing touches on an order worth up to $8 billion for A380
superjumbos from Doric Lease Corp, sources close to the deal
said on Tuesday.
The purchase, which follows a provisional order for 20 A380s
announced at the Paris Airshow last June, coincides with plans
by the leasing firm to change its name to "Amedeo".
Doric confirmed the name change at the Singapore Airshow but
declined to comment on the progress of the airplane order.
The name change, to that of a famous late 19th century
Italian explorer, marks a break from Doric's roots in property
and energy finance and symbolizes the company's efforts to open
new frontiers for the world's largest airliner.
Sales have generally been sluggish though Dubai's Emirates,
the largest customer, placed an order in November for 50
aircraft that for the time being lifted doubts over production
Both companies insist the aircraft has powerful efficiencies
due to its size. It is capable of carrying 525 people in three
classes but lessors have until now shied away or cancelled
orders citing the high costs of changing configurations between
customers and uncertainty over resale prices.
Doric may obtain some guarantees over reconfiguration costs
as part of the deal, industry sources said.
Airbus declined to comment but sales chief John Leahy told
journalists in Singapore that he hoped to make an A380 order
announcement during the Asia's largest aerospace event, which
opened on Tuesday.
Doric has said it aims to complete the deal in the first
quarter as part of a strategy to become a new industry player
specializing in wide-body aircraft.
Airbus may agree to update the A380's engines to help boost
sales with encouragement from Rolls-Royce, one of its two
engine suppliers, people with knowledge of the matter said last
People in the industry say that would not usually favour the
task of leasing out current models, or help with their resale
values, but Doric or Amedeo shrugged off the concerns.
"The A380 has unbeatable economics with or without
re-engining," Doric managing director Mark Lapidus said.
Boeing sales chief John Wojick said on Tuesday the
planemaker remained far less confident in the size of the market
for large four-engined planes such as the A380 or its own 747-8
than its European rival Airbus. Boeing is investing instead in
the 406-seat 777X instead, which has two engines.