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.
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.
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