Option (aircraft purchasing)
An option, when purchasing aircraft
An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. An aircraft counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.Although...

, allows an airline
An airline provides air transport services for traveling passengers and freight. Airlines lease or own their aircraft with which to supply these services and may form partnerships or alliances with other airlines for mutual benefit...

 to purchase additional aircraft in the future at an agreed price and date.

When placing orders for new aircraft, airlines commonly obtain options from the aircraft manufacturer, for example Airbus
Airbus SAS is an aircraft manufacturing subsidiary of EADS, a European aerospace company. Based in Blagnac, France, surburb of Toulouse, and with significant activity across Europe, the company produces around half of the world's jet airliners....

 or Boeing
The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

. These options allow the airline to delay the purchase of additional aircraft until market conditions become clearer and the purchase can be justified. It also reserves the airline a place in the manufacturing queue, for a guaranteed delivery slot. When the airline finally exercises its options, it can place its order without having to join the end of the queue which otherwise may delay the delivery of the aircraft for years. If future conditions do not justify expansion of the airline's fleet, the airline is not obliged to purchase the aircraft.

Depending on economic conditions, manufacturers often sell aircraft purchasing options below either the real or Aircraft Bluebook
Aircraft Bluebook
There are currently four aircraft bluebooks used within the aviation industry.One of the commonly referenced paid-subscription publications is the Aircraft Price Digest which identifies and prices more than 3,000 used general aviation aircraft and helicopter make and model-years available in the...

value of the aircraft.

Rolling options

Rolling options differ from ordinary aircraft purchase options, in that the delivery slot is assigned at a later date, when the option is exercised or expires.
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