By Jason Neely
State-owned Dubai Aerospace Enterprise agrees deal to buy 100 aircraft.
State-owned Dubai Aerospace Enterprise said on Monday it had signed an initial agreement to buy as many as 100 aircraft from European planemaker Airbus for $13.5 billion.
The order consists of 70 A320s and 30 A350 XWB planes, the company said in a statement, confirming what sources had told Reuters earlier on Monday.
The deal includes the cost of A350 engines purchased from the Rolls-Royce Group Plc in a contract worth $1.2 billion at list prices, it said.
DAE, which in September dropped a $1.8 billion bid for New Zealand's Auckland airport, plans to start an aircraft leasing business to tap growing demand for planes and air travel around the world, especially Asia.
"Today, we are laying down a significant marker," Bob Genise, chief executive officer of DAE's aircraft leasing unit, DAE Capital, said. "We have fairly ambitious goals."
The planes are for delivery starting in 2013, DAE said.
DAE plans to compete with global aircraft leasing companies such as GE and ILFC, capitalising on Dubai's plans to become a global aviation centre.
Dubai's government-owned Emirates on Sunday ordered 93 aircraft from Airbus and Boeing, though eight of these had been announced previously, worth $23.4 billion.
Dubai is building one of the world's biggest airports, capable of handling as many as 120 million passengers per year as it seeks to capitalise on its location between Europe, Asia and Africa. (Reuters)