Talk of production “bubbles” again colored the discourse at the March 16 to 18 International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT) Americas 2014 conference in San Diego, even while OEMs in attendance insisted that record backlogs fully justify their planned rate increases. Manufacturers highlighted a strong backdrop for aircraft demand fueled by aging replacement needs, a 20-seat increase in the capacity of narrowbodies since 2007, emerging-market long-term capacity requirements and the global expansion of low-cost carriers, according to a research note from Sterne Agee.
Bombardier Aerospace announced last month that Nordic Aviation Capital of Billund, Denmark, has signed a firm purchase agreement to acquire four Q400 turboprops. Bombardier places the value of the contact, based on list prices, at $134.77 million.
Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Bank (SMBC) beat more than 30 other bidders to complete the acquisition of RBS Aviation Capital on October 15, demonstrating the growing importance of leasing in new-airliner acquisitions. The bank’s new SMBC Aviation division intends to merge two other leasing companies owned by its shareholders to challenge for the number-three position in the leasing sector, controlling some 331 aircraft.
The International Monetary Fund’s April 18 warning that Europe’s banks could lose some $2.6 trillion over the next 18 months lent weight to concerns of a continuing aircraft finance drought recently voiced by airline treasurers and finance bosses.
Dublin, Ireland-based Milestone Aviation Group and CHC Helicopter have agreed on the sale-leaseback of five medium twins–two Sikorsky S-92s and three Eurocopter AS332L2 Super Pumas.
CHC Helicopter and aircraft leasing firm Milestone Aviation Group announced an $80 million contract today for sale-leaseback of five heavy helicopters for transporting offshore oil and gas workers in the UK, Denmark and Falklands. The deal includes the sale-leaseback of two Sikorsky S-92s and three Eurocopter AS332L2s.
At Heli-Expo, Milestone Aviation Group, a global finance company for the helicopter and private jet markets, today announced $205 million in helicopter lease transactions since its launch in August.
Aircraft valuation specialist Ascend painted a mixed picture of prospects for airliner leasing and sales this year in its Evolution 2011 webinar on February 10.
Richard Santulli, founder of fractional-share company NetJets, is back in the aviation business with a new business jet and helicopter leasing company called Milestone Aviation Group. Santulli, 66, resigned from NetJets last August but said at the time that he would remain a consultant to the company for a year. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway bought NetJets in 1998 for $725 million.
Sources for financing of corporate aircraft purchases may be harder to find this year than last, but Toennies von Limburg, director of international sales with Bank of America Corporate Aircraft Finance (Booth No. 394), said there is value to be had in what has turned rapidly from a buyers’ to a sellers’ market.
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