AerCap has signed a letter of intent for the purchase of 70 Airbus A320 Family aircraft. AerCap was formerly known as debis AirFinance, which was recently acquired by Cerberus.

AerCap (then debis AirFinance) had already ordered 31 Airbus A320 Family aircraft in 1999. The new deal will take its Airbus portfolio to more than 170 aircraft. A choice of engines has yet to be announced.

"We are excited about building on the long-standing relationship between Airbus and AerCap with this new order. It will further strengthen our position as a leading provider of the most modern single-aisle aircraft to our global customer base," says AerCap CEO Klaus Heinemann.

"Our partnership with AerCap goes back a while, and we are gratified that it will now expand in scope with this major new deal for the world's most modern single-aisle aircraft family," says Airbus President and CEO Gustav Humbert.

The Airbus A320 Family brings the widest cabin of any single-aisle aircraft to a variety of aircraft sizes, from 100-185 seats, allowing airlines to offer seamless service in a wide range of markets. It is the youngest product line in its class, featuring a host of technological innovations - such as fuel-saving wingtip fences - at no extra charge.

The Airbus A320 Family has by far the most modern design in its class, with a cabin that allows wider seats for passengers, excellent economy, and the lowest operating costs in its class. It enjoys features that competing aircraft lack, such as centralised maintenance, category 3B autoland, and wingtip fences as standard.

With almost 3,800 sales and some 200 customers and operators, the Airbus A320 Family is the world's best-selling single-aisle aircraft.

Airbus is an EADS joint company with BAE Systems.