Another Wall Street firm is entering the increasingly crowded helicopter leasing market. Perella Weinberg’s $2.1 billion Asset Based Value Strategy unit is teaming with Hawke Aerospace to form Infinity Helicopter Leasing. Infinity said it will focus on the light end of the market–singles and light twins–that service the onshore EMS, law enforcement and utility markets in the U.S. and Canada. Previous helicopter leasing market entrants, such as Milestone Aviation, have focused on the lucrative offshore market for medium and heavy twin-engine helicopters.
The rarefied deepwater oil and gas market has spawned new players and big deals in the helicopter operating leasing market, but to date these transactions have largely been confined to medium and large helicopters. What will be the impact of leasing on the industry as a whole, especially for smaller operators with light helicopters in the non-oil-and-gas segments, and will it ever become as predominant as it is for airlines, where approximately one-third of the fleet is leased?
Chicago-based Jet Support Services (JSSI) hosted its first private Management and Maintenance Business Aircraft Conference in China last month, with more than 60 in attendance. The invitation-only, three-day event involved industry professionals from aircraft management companies and aircraft leasing and finance businesses, as well as aircraft owners’ representatives. JSSI presented an analysis of how programs are structured to control maintenance costs and quality as well as enhance aircraft value.
Peter Bull, an aviation industry veteran and risk and asset management expert, has joined the advisory board at helicopter leasing firm Milestone Aviation Group. Milestone chairman and CEO Richard Santulli said Bull’s input will strengthen and enhance the company, since asset and risk management are the “backbone of our business and central to what we do.” Bull has held a range of senior positions in aircraft maintenance, leasing, asset management, risk consulting and continuing airworthiness.
The Equipment Leasing & Financing Foundation has released the results of a survey of financing experts, “to reveal and analyze the collective thinking of business aircraft lenders, lessors and investors (financiers) about the future of their industry in 2013 through 2016.” In general, “Financiers think the worst effects of the recession and financial crisis in 2008 are behind them and that business is picking up.” The report concludes, “business aircraft will gain altitude in 2013 through 2016 and ultimately ascend to an active (if not robust) transactions market during th
Vector Financial Services Ireland announced at Heli-Expo ’13 availability of a fleet of customized Super Puma AS332Ls, including new leasing and hourly support options, aimed at utility operators in the European Union, UN and NATO countries.
“Our lease program gives customers the ability to operate a Super Puma AS332L helicopter…without the large capital investment associated with outright purchase of either a second-hand aircraft or the associated typical aircraft financial lease type obligations,” said Vector UK managing director Michael Tyrell.
According to figures released today by business aviation data company Amstat, the long hoped-for “broad based business aircraft resale market recovery still remains elusive.” While inventories of pre-owned business aircraft continued to contract and transaction activity continues to increase on a year-over-year basis, the rate of improvement slowed in the third quarter, it said.