July 10, 2014 / 6:30 PM / 5 years ago

Lessor SMBC nears potential $10 billion Airbus order: sources

A scale model of an A320 Airbus is displayed during the Airbus annual press conference in Colomiers, near Toulouse, January 13, 2014. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

LONDON (Reuters) - Irish leasing company SMBC Aviation Capital is in advanced talks to buy around 100 Airbus aircraft, setting the stage for what could be one of the largest order announcements at next week’s Farnborough Airshow, two people familiar with the matter said.

The order may include the current generation of A320 single-aisle-family jets and the more fuel-efficient A320neo family and is potentially worth up to $10 billion at list prices.

Dublin-based SMBC Aviation Capital, owned by Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and, until 2012, the leasing arm of Royal Bank of Scotland, declined to comment.

A spokesman for Airbus said, “We do not comment on talks with our customers which may or may not be taking place.”

The deal is part of a shopping spree by leasing companies for the industry’s workhorse narrowbody jets, as well as larger models, that could help lift orders at the July 14-20 event well above 500 jets despite some recent warnings of overcapacity.

SMBC says it is the world’s third largest aviation leasing company with 350 owned and managed aircraft.

U.S planemaker Boeing earlier on Thursday revised up its 20-year forecast for jetliner demand, saying the world would need 36,770 new planes worth $5.2 trillion by 2033.

Reporting by Tim Hepher, Conor Humphries; editing by Jane Baird and Maya Nikolaeva

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