Dublin-based aircraft lessor AerCap has placed a firm order for 30 Boeing 787-9s, valued at $8.1 billion at list prices. Delivery dates have not been disclosed.

Announcing the agreement at the Paris Air Show, Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Kevin Mcallister said this cements AerCap’s position as the largest 787 customer with a total of 122 of the type.

AerCap CEO Aengus Kelly said the new aircraft are yet to be placed, but he said demand is extremely strong.

“We believe in this airplane. We have more widebodies than anyone else in the world and more 787s than anyone else. We believe it is going to be a mainstay. We have never seen this type of demand for any aircraft. That’s why we believe in it and why we have made this commitment to the program. We think this is an airplane for the future,” he said.

When quizzed on engine selections, Kelly replied: “We will have an engine mix that reflects our customer base. We can’t get one or the other, we need both,” Kelly said.

He rebuffed suggestion that there is already a surplus of widebody capacity, saying: “We moved 100 widebodies last year. Most people don’t have a clue, because they don’t have any.”

AerCap has taken delivery of 55 787s. With this order, it will have a further 67 787s on backlog, including sale and leasebacks.

Kelly said he believes the 737 MAX 10 will be “a very good airplane” and AerCap is talking to Boeing about it, but the lessor’s focus is currently on the 787.

Victoria Moores victoria.moores@penton.com