AEROSPACE: A Fleet of Rent-a-Jets

A Fleet of Rent-a-Jets

As airlines scramble to expand their fleets and replace aging jets, many have found that renting planes can be a better deal than buying them. The chief beneficiary of the trend is GPA Group of Shannon, Ireland, the world's largest jet-leasing company. Last week GPA confirmed its dominance by ordering 308 new planes valued at $17 billion, the biggest such purchase in history. Seattle's Boeing will supply 182 jets worth $9.4 billion, Europe's Airbus Industrie 54 for $4.3 billion, and St. Louis-based McDonnell Douglas 72 for $3.1 billion.

The huge deal brings GPA's total orders and options to 819 aircraft valued...

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