Aircastle set to acquire more aircraft
Published 1:13 pm, Thursday, October 5, 2017
STAMFORD — Aircraft leasing firm Aircastle announced this week the planned acquisition of 20 narrow-body aircraft from Dublin, Ireland-based SMBC Aviation Capital.
“We are pleased to have reached an agreement to acquire these high-quality aircraft on lease to a geographically diverse group of airlines, demonstrating our unique ability to find attractive growth opportunities throughout the cycle,” Aircastle CEO Mike Inglese said in a statement. “We appreciate the opportunity to work with SMBC Aviation Capital to further optimize our fleet mix with the addition of these in-demand, current generation A320s and 737NGs.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The addition of the aircraft, which are now on lease with 13 airlines across the world, would support Aircastle’s strategy of building up its passenger plane holdings. Nearly a decade ago, freight airplanes comprised about one-third of Aircastle’s fleet. Now, those jets account for around 4 percent. Aircastle’s portfolio included about 200 planes as of the end of the second quarter of 2017.
Aircastle, which has about 20 employees based in Dublin, is seeing most of its growth in developing regions. With 71 customers in 38 countries, it is leasing aircraft to carriers based in Brazil, Indonesia and India.
“We think the underlying fundamental drivers of aircraft demand are good on a long-term basis and should allow opportunities for us to find incremental growth in the context of a growing marketplace, without having to plan on stealing market share from others,” Inglese said in an interview last month.
Aircastle acquires many planes from larger leasing companies, having generally focused on purchased aircraft five to 10 years old. At the same time, it competes with those firms to secure leases.
The company recorded in the past quarter a combined loss of about $66 million for the sale of three freighters, contributing to a quarterly net loss of about $7 million.
In the same period, revenues hit about $224 million, a jump of about 18 percent from the same time frame last year.
In Aircastle’s first chief executive change in its 13-year history, Inglese was appointed CEO in June, succeeding Ron Wainshal who stepped down to deal with undisclosed health issues.
Founded in 2004 and taken public in 2006, Aircastle is headquartered in the First Stamford Place complex, in the city’s Waterside section. It employs about 70 there. In addition to the 20 in Dublin, it also employs about a dozen in Singapore.
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