GPA Orders, Options Record 308 Aircraft Valued at $17 Billion

From Associated Press

GPA Group Ltd., the world’s biggest aircraft leasing company, said today it has ordered or placed options on 308 aircraft valued at about $17 billion, the largest airplane order ever.

Boeing Co. is the major beneficiary of the orders, GPA said. It said it will buy 182 Boeing airplanes for $9.4 billion.

GPA said it will buy 92 of the Seattle-based manufacturer’s 737 narrow-bodied twin-jet planes, 50 Boeing 757 narrow-bodied twin-jet models and 40 Boeing 767 twin-engine wide-bodied jets.

In addition, GPA said it will purchase 64 McDonnell Douglas Corp. MD-80 narrow-body twin-jets and eight McDonnell Douglas MD-11 wide-body three-engine jets for $3.1 billion.


The company announced earlier today in Paris that it also was ordering $4.3 billion worth of airplanes from Airbus Industrie, the European consortium. It will buy 30 of Airbus Industries’ A-320s; 10 A-330s; and two A-340s. It said it also has placed options to take a further 10 A-330s and two A-340s.

GPA said the engine suppliers include CFMI, a joint venture of General Electric Co. of the United States and France’s Societe Nationale d’Etudes et Construction de Moteurs Aviation; General Electric; United Technologies Corp.'s Pratt and Whitney; Rolls-Royce PLC, and International Aero Engines, jointly owned by United Technologies, Daimler-Benz AG and Rolls-Royce.

Order Expected

The announcement had been expected. The company said last week that it planned to disclose big orders today.

The previous largest order was Delta Air Lines’ $10.5-billion worth of orders for and options on 225 Boeing and McDonnell-Douglas airplanes last September.

GPA’s order reflects the importance of aircraft leasing companies, which account for about one-fifth of aircraft orders. It also underscores the growth of the airline industry and airlines’ concern with replacing their aging fleets.

Leasing companies provide airplanes to airlines that increasingly do not want, or do not have the money, to buy the airplanes themselves.

Some airlines have complained that the leasing companies’ role in the industry has boosted airplane prices and is lengthening the long waiting lists for aircraft.


GPA, based in Shannon, Ireland, and formerly called Guinness Peat Aviation, is privately owned by several companies, including the airlines Air Canada and Aer Lingus. The carriers hold stakes of 16% and 11%, respectively.

GPA owns or leases 172 aircraft operated by 64 carriers in 32 countries.

Its net profits for 1988-89 were expected to total $150 million, compared to $101 million in the previous fiscal year.