An item titled “The Future of Santa Monica Airport” on the agenda for tonight’s Santa Monica (Calif.) City Council meeting is likely to result in a spillover crowd, with both airport proponents and anti-airport groups urging members to attend to express their opinions.
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.
Waypoint Leasing Services placed orders with Airbus Helicopters for 12 EC225s and 25 EC145T2s yesterday at Heli-Expo. Deliveries will commence this year and continue through 2017. Financial details of the order were not disclosed. Waypoint purchased two EC225s last year that are currently leased for offshore oil and gas operations in Australia. The helicopter leasing firm has $375 million in financing from two family funds and an additional $325 million in credit from Credit Suisse, CIT Bank and SunTrust.
“Our ultimate goal is to make Russian aerospace and financial products competitive in the global market,” Alexander Ivanov, deputy chairman at Vnesheconombank (VEB), told AIN. Ivanov called Sukhoi a “long-standing partner” for his Kremlin-controlled bank, with whom the latter “has spent two years structuring the workable aircraft sales system support.”
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.
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.
With 36 A380 aircraft in the fleet as of late September and a further 104 now on order, the aviation community is trying to calculate what will happen to Emirates’ superjumbo fleet when the time comes to retire the type, at around halfway through its lifetime. Some analysts believe that, given a lifespan of 25 years, a proxy for the useful life of a modern widebody aircraft, the A380 will face problems in the secondary market when major leases come to an end after the standard 12-year term.
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