It not often that an air show announcement creates audible gasps of surprise from the international aviation trade press – but it was the case today when Doric Lease Corp CEO Mark Lapidus told reporters his company will order 20 A380s, and stated this amount probably is not enough to meet demand.
Lapidus said that based on airline contacts already made by Doric, he believes there is a “pent up demand just under the surface” for A380s from multiple airlines that do not operate the aircraft or have not yet ordered them.
“With the leasing solution we are bringing to the table, we believe that many of those airlines will ‘cross the line,’” Lapidus told reporters during a press briefing this morning. “Airbus has rightly sized this aircraft: with 550 seats, its economics currently are unbeatable, and it will be very competitive with airplanes in the future – especially as we see rapid growth of the 400-seat routes around globe, which will continue to accelerate.”
The Doric agreement announced today is a Memorandum of Understanding for the 20 A380s, which is to be followed by a final purchase agreement in the next several months, he added. Deliveries will begin in 2016.
Doric has been extensively involved with the A380, as the company currently manages 18 of the aircraft acquired through sale-leaseback arrangements
“This is logical step forward based on Doric’s involvement in the A380 since it came into service in October 2007,” he said. “We uniquely know its performance capabilities, we see – and experience – its unrivaled product offering, and we watch how certain airlines not only grow their market share but also increase the yield by operating this aircraft. The A380 creates new passenger traffic, along with new economic activity by making it easier and more pleasant for passengers to travel.”
Lapidus said that based on the list of potential A380 leasing customers, he expects all 20 jetliners to be placed through lease transactions with probably two or three airlines. “This is why I think we may not have enough with our current agreement,” he added.
Based in Dublin, Ireland, Doric is the world’s third largest widebody leasing company, and the 11th largest commercial aircraft lessor worldwide.