Monday, 27 February 2012
Libyan Airlines planning CSeries order, EgyptAir wet leases
Libyan Airlines has conducted a viability study into the Bombardier CSeries and will likely order four to eight of the aircraft, chief executive officer Khaled Taynaz has said. The Libyan flag carrier is currently repairing its existing Bombardier CRJ900s, which were damaged during last year's revolt against Muammar Gaddafi, but has received a "very good offer" to upgrade the models in about four years. Taynaz is also poised to sign a short-term lease with EgyptAir for some of its Airbus A330s, though the paperwork has yet to be finalised and upcoming merger partner Afriqiyah Airlines may alternatively loan the aircraft.
Outlining Libyan's fleet renewal plans in his first interview since the civil war, the CEO said repair work on damaged aircraft had progressed well and that the carrier is now turning its attention to long-term expansion. Five of the airline's eight CRJ900s have already been restored by Lufthansa, while two more should be airworthy by April and the eighth will be decommissioned. Libyan had also signed a five-year maintenance contract with Air France-KLM, which will complete repair work on the last of four damaged Airbus A320s by the end of February.
Tuesday, 13 September 2011
Cargolux finances three more 747-8Fs, sells one 747-400F
Cargolux has arranged Ex-Im backed funding for three of the four Boeing 747-8Fs due to be delivered in 2012, and the carrier will consider an operating lease structure for the remaining freighter, CFO David Arendt has told Aviation Exchange. The airline is the launch partner for the 747-8F and will sell one of its older 747-400Fs to Silk Way Airways later this month after receiving two of the three Dash-8s being delivered this year, he added.
The fourth aircraft, which arrives in February 2012, will be financed by PEFCO under an Ex-Im guarantee, Arendt confirmed. The fifth aircraft, delivering in April 2012, will be acquired by a joint venture comprising Cargolux and three equity co-investors – Crédit Agricole, DVB Bank and KfW-IPEX Bank – and will draw from Ex-Im backed debt provided by JP Morgan. The sixth, arriving in July 2012, looks set to be funded by an Ex-Im bond on the capital market, with Goldman Sachs and Crédit Agricole signing preliminary agreements.
Friday, 9 September 2011
ALC gives muted reaction to 737MAX amid renewed focus on order book
Air Lease Corporation this week conducted a major product review of the re-engined 737MAX with Boeing, ALC president John Plueger has told Aviation Exchange, with the lessor making no secret of its preference for a brand new single-aisle model. Plueger said ALC will remain "very engaged" with Boeing over the development of the 737MAX, but he acknowledged the manufacturer's need to plan for the "totality of their single and twin-aisle product line," including possible upgrades to the Boeing 777-300ER as well as the planned Boeing 787-10.
ALC was founded last year after industry veteran Steven Udvar-Házy retired as CEO of market leader ILFC to set up a competing lessor. Plueger came on board shortly afterwards, having served as acting CEO at ILFC following Udvar-Házy's departure, and under their joint stewardship ALC has rapidly grown its portfolio to a fleet of 65 aircraft, with forward orders for a further 234 jets by 2020.
Friday, 12 August 2011
Pegasus negotiating massive order to triple fleet size
Turkish low-cost carrier Pegasus Airlines is negotiating with Boeing and Airbus over an order totalling more than 100 aircraft, CFO Serhan Ulga has revealed to Aviation Exchange. The airline, which currently has a fleet of 39 mostly Boeing aircraft, hopes to reach an agreement by the end of the year. It has not yet decided whether to select one manufacturer or place a split order for jets.
"We are in the negotiation process for a big order with both manufacturers," Ulga told this news service. "We are seriously considering the best alternative. We'll go with whatever is the best economic equity value for our entire order."
Thursday, 11 August 2011
AerCap ramps up share repurchasing as acquisitions take a backseat
Dutch lessor AerCap is actively buying stock under its USD 50m share repurchase programme, as newly appointed CEO Aengus Kelly tightens the company's funding structure amid uncertainty in the global economy. Having reduced the average age of its 335-aircraft fleet to 5.4 years, the lessor is tempering asset acquisitions in order to focus on shareholder returns, Kelly told Aviation Exchange.
Proceeds from the sale of aircraft teardown subsidiary AeroTurbine, bought by ILFC earlier this month for USD 228m, have yet to be earmarked for specific transactions, but the windfall could be used for further share repurchases. "We are not here for growth for growth's sake. We are here to increase shareholder value," the CEO said. "When we look at an asset acquisition opportunity it has to be a better deal than buying back our own shares."
Friday, 22 July 2011
Virgin America tempers 2012/13 delivery schedule over fuel concerns
Virgin America will consider postponing up to 13 Airbus A320 deliveries previously slated for the latter half of 2012 and the first half of 2013, CEO David Cush has told this news service. The US low cost carrier, which has rapidly expanded its fleet to 39 jets since launching in 2007, is “still in a growth trajectory” and remains on-track to reach 111 aircraft by 2019, Cush said.
“We have significant flexibility on the size of our fleet over the next 24 months,” the CEO told Aviation Exchange. “We have not entered into agreements for aircraft that had been contemplated for the second half of 2012 [six jets] and first half of 2013 [seven jets] and, therefore, have the fleet size flexibility necessary to make adjustments.”
Thursday, 7 July 2011
Consolidation on the cards as Kenya Airways launches ten-year plan
Kenya Airways is open to the prospect of merging with "like-minded carriers" in order to deliver on its ambitious ten-year growth plan, CEO Titus Naikuni has told Aviation Exchange. The industry veteran, who was last month appointed to IATA's 31-strong board of governors, said that closer cooperation with partners is a logical next step as codeshare agreements had fuelled the airline's rapid expansion.
"Kenya Airways sees benefits in consolidation with like-minded carriers," he told this news service. "This should come progressively, perhaps through cooperation initially."
Thursday, 30 June 2011
Santander, the only bank currently arranging Spanish Operating Leases (SOLs), has told Aviation Exchange it is pitching to potential clients in the Middle East and Asia as it witnesses growing demand for the tax leases. The structures, originally developed by Caja Madrid, allow lessees to receive tax benefits through accelerated depreciation and have previously only been closed in Latin America and Europe.
Spanish flag carrier Iberia secured the first ever aviation SOL in September 2005 after going on the hunt for alternatives to Japanese Operating Leases (JOLs). Caja Madrid provided 21% equity while RBS financed 79% debt, delivering savings of 6.5% through a reduced rental stream on two Airbus A340s.
The JOLs previously favoured by Iberia tended to deliver larger savings, but according to Gregorio Herrera, Santander Global Banking & Markets, Europe, there are several additional benefits entailed within SOL structures.