DUBAI — EgyptAir and leasing company, AerCap, signed two individual deals for the lease of six Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners as well as 15 Airbus A320neo aircraft. These planes were previously in AerCap’s order book.
AerCap is the world’s largest operator of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft with 116 either in their ownership or on order. It is also the largest lessor of the A320neo, holding over 220 of the aircraft type.
This agreement comes in after the Egyptian carrier signed a letter of intent for 12 Bombardier CSeries CS300s, with an option for an additional 12 yesterday at the Dubai Air Show.
Aengus Kelly, AerCap CEO said that his company is “extremely proud to have been selected by EgyptAir to support their widebody fleet renewal program.”
“EgyptAir has been in business for 85 years, and these transactions represent an important milestone in the future development of the airline,” he noted.
The Egyptian carrier’s CEO and Chairman, Safwat Musallam, said he is “glad to celebrate this new cooperation with AerCap, to be a part of our fleet renewal strategy.”
“We will continue to invest in the most advanced aircraft to give our customers the best possible travel experience,” added Musallam.
It is unclear how long the lease agreement will last for, but it shows that EgyptAir is trying to expand their network on the more long-haul perspective.
The Boeing 787-9 aircraft will go hand-in-hand with the 777s they currently operate. The new airliners will provide more range at more efficient levels of performance potentially looking into the Asian and Pacific markets respectively for ‘long-thin’ routes that the 777s wouldn’t be able to operate profitably.
Hand-in-hand, EgyptAir is trying to position themselves on the regional, long-haul market against those growing African and Middle Eastern carriers.
FlyDubai, an excellent example, has just placed large orders for the Boeing 737 MAX and might be venturing into EgyptAir’s territory. On the long-haul front, Emirates announced a blockbuster order for Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners, looking to boost their global outreach further.
It will be amusing to see how EgyptAir manages to adapt its business model as these new aircraft join the fleet. No details were shared concerning cabin configuration and hard product modifications.
Concerning the airline industry in North Africa, Egypt has experienced lower demand following some terrorist attacks, especially in the aviation industry with the crash of Metrojet Flight 9268.
By adding these new aircraft to their portfolio, they could market their operations to a point where it can encourage further tourism into the Egyptian economy and stimulate it that way.
Overall, this order shows the commitment to EgyptAir’s rejuvenation of the Egyptian tourist market. The airline would be taking a gamble in trying to do this but in turn would be a good gamble if it works.