Airlines will continue to enjoy ready access to financing for new aircraft acquisitions, as funding sources such as bonds grow in importance as options for financial support, according to Boeing’s seventh annual aircraft finance market forecast. The report, released in London on December 10, said that while export credit agency funding will decline in significance in the coming years, the industry will see a more even balance among carriers’ use of bonds, leases and loans from banks and capital markets.
American International Group has agreed to sell its 100-percent stake in International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) to Netherlands-based aircraft leasing firm AerCap Holdings, the companies announced Monday.
Fuel efficiency and its effect on the useful life of aging aircraft is a dominant factor in the thinking of aircraft leasing companies, which are increasingly helping credit-squeezed carriers to refresh their fleets. Their presence in the market for airliner acquisition has continued to grow in the last two decades, with operating leases now thought to account for almost 40 percent of total deals today.
With much of the world’s air freight business still struggling to earn decent yields, United Arab Emirates-based Maximus Air Cargo is stepping up efforts to tilt its business plan increasingly in favor of wet leases covering aircraft, crew, maintenance, insurance (ACMI).
Insurance giant AIG appeared closer to proceeding with plans to wind down its exposure to the aircraft leasing business when on September 2 its ILFC unit filed a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed initial public offering.
The world’s aircraft leasing industry appears to have weathered the proverbial storm of the global recession and now looks well positioned to exploit aircraft placement opportunities in markets such as China, in particular. However, such opportunities won’t come without their challenges, according to some of the leasing company bosses who appeared at this spring’s International Society of Transport Aircraft Traders (ISTAT) conference.
Milestone Aviation Group (Booth No. 4042), a global finance company focused on providing leasing of high-value helicopters and private jets, announced at Heli-Expo 2011 that it has closed $141 million in transactions for 27 new and used helicopters since the company was launched in last August.
The European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) is leading fresh industry demands for a clampdown on illegal charter activity. The campaign wants to make charter customers more aware of the risks they run by flying in aircraft not operated under commercial aircraft operating certificates (AOCs). It also wants authorities to be more aggressive in catching those operating illegally.
The fear is palpable at corporate flight departments that have put their aircraft on someone else’s Part 135 OpSpecs. Those who do by-the-book dry leases can sleep peacefully at night. The ones with the oh-so-clever wet leases in disguise will have more trouble.
Chicago-based Jet Support Services Inc. (JSSI) and Fleet Capital Leasing have entered into a strategic alliance agreement to bundle JSSI’s engine, airframe or tip-to-tail hourly cost maintenance program with Fleet Capital aircraft financing.
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