Aviation Finance

Developments

In the latest edition (June 10th): The patterns of reconstruction start to make themselves evident
June 10th 2021: More ABS activity, and the signs of recovery, notably in the new orders area show signs of the pattern of the recovery, or, more accurately described, reconstruction effort, after Covid. The recovery in the global airline system is being led as North America shows the strongest signs of rtecovery, while other regions, such as South East Asia remain slow to show signs of pick-up; Is the clock ticking for Power by the Hour (PBH) deals? Peter Aldis, Senior Asset Manager at IBA, considers the likely outcome; Muzinich & Co has raised an initial $300 million seed capital from European institutional investors for its Aviation Senior Secured Strategy aircraft debt financing fund; United my be set to boost Boeing’s order book further for a large narrow-body aircraft order that could include at least 100 Boeing 737 MAX 8s.


In the May 27th edition: shoots of recovery
May 27th 2021: IATA is now forecasting that traffic levels will increase to 88 per cent of their 2019 pre-Covid levels and to 105 per cent the following year; Moody’s Snr. VP Mark Wasden now expects the recovery in air travel will propel lessors’ profitability higher by 2023; Air Lease Corp prices $1.2 billion Senior Notes; Ryanair issues €1.2bn 5-year Eurobond; PE jv acquires NAB $1.1bn loan portfolio; Apollo & Merx in sale & leaseback with Air France; AeroCentury makes Q1 loss; Fitch stays ‘negative’ on aircraft ABS; GECAS leases more 737-800 BCFs to ATRAN; First European operator of B737-800SF; ST Engineering to lease A321P2Fs to GlobalX; Aircastle delivers Embraer 195 to KLM; Sirius acquires five planes from BOC.

 

Perspectives

Aercap approves the acquisition of GECAS

At its Annual General Meeting held on May 12th shareholders in AerCap Holdings NV approved the acquisition of GE Capital Aviation Services.




Anton Tams, GECAS on electronic maintenance records

Trevor Ricards, GECAS on ABS
DVB's Kieran O'Keefe on the lease rate factor (LRF)
IBA's Dr Stuart Hatcher on lease rates

Analysis

In the May 13th edition: recovery signs continue to manifest themselves
May 13th 2021: Gradual recovery in passenger traffic and continued strength in cargo is continuing to provide a backdrop for investor appetite for aviation assets, as other capital market transactions revive. The improvement in sentiment is spilling over, too, into order books of airframe manufacturers, albeit slowly, indicating that supply of aircraft assets will lag demand on the way out of the pandemic recovery. Airbus has reported good improvement in both its deliveries and orders for April this year. But even though it was the third consecutive month of order expansion for Boeing, with 17 deliveries and 25 gross orders, allowing for cancellations and conversions Boeing booked just eight net aircraft orders. It also only delivered four 737 MAX jets in April – down from 19 the previous month – after it halted deliveries due to the discovery of a new electrical problem.


In the April 29th edition: recovery signs
April 29th 2021: In its third tapping of the US market so far this year BOC Aviation raises $750m. Falko's first ABS secured with regional aircraft assets post pandemic; Boeing CEO David Calhoun predicts that 2021 ‘will be a turning point as more people are vaccinated and travel again’; Avolon incurs Q1 loss, sees ‘recovery firmly underway’ ; Virgin Australia to take back 10 leased B737-800s; DAE orders 15 Boeing 737 MAX jets; IndiGo closes sale/leaseback deals on 17 aircraft with GECAS and SKY; EU approves €462 million support for TAP.


GECAS arranges Purchase Leaseback Agreements with IndiGo for 14 Airbus Neos
April 22, 2021, Shannon Ireland: GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) along with the ventures it services have agreed a Purchase/Leaseback (PLB) arrangement for 14 LEAP-powered Airbus neo aircraft with IndiGo. The seven A320neo and seven A321neo are scheduled to deliver between the fourth quarter of 2021 and the middle of 2022.

 

Aircraft Leasing & Lessors

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Aircraft & Airlines

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In the April 15th edition: a positive frame of mind
April 15th 2021: BOC Aviation is in the process of tapping the US capital market under its Global Medium Term Note Programme; There are ‘lots of reasons to be bullish on domestic leisure travel' transport consultants at Oliver Wyman say, and, more good news: Southwest Airlines has recalled all flight attendants from long-term voluntary leave to cope with a domestic recovery, now progressing faster than expected, while the share prices of European airlines have risen 57 per cent and US airlines by 65 per cent since last November.


In the April 1st edition: further evidence of a new springtime optimism
In the April 1st 2021 edition: We explore how well ABS transactions have done, in relative terms, over the past six to nine months, why regional aircraft operators and lessors may be in the vanguard of recovery, the progress being made by Boeing with the return of the MAX and the trend towards further consolidation amongst lessors: The Carlyle Aviation Partners acquisition of Fly Leasing for $520m: Traffic recovers in Europe, but LCCs still sharply curtailed: AerCap Dreamliners for Norse Atlantic; American repays US Treasury Cares Act loan.


In the March 18th edition: Aercap's acquisition of GECAS - a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity'
In the March 18th 2021 edition: The deal between GE and AerCap creates an industry leader across all areas of aviation leasing, encompassing passenger and freight aircraft, engines and helicopters. While aircraft leasing will be by far the largest component in this much enlarged business, the added diversity of revenue streams and customer touch points from the new business units will benefit the whole. That it also has been engineered by an 'Exchange- Traded lessor' helps balance the flightpath of global aviation financing. As this issue also reveals in other stories, there is strong evidence that the tide is turning in relation to the impact of the pandemic. IPOs by three LCCs is one example of this. Sun Country Airlines saw its shares rise by 51 per cent on its debut; Norwegian start-up Flyr raised $70 million with an IPO in Oslo and Frontier Airlines, a carrier acquired by US investment group Indigo in 2013, has also filed for an IPO.

 

Analysis

AerCap pays $25bn cash for GECAS, with GE retaining c.$6bn stake in enlarged business
March 10, 2021: AerCap has entered into a definitive agreement with General Electric under which AerCap will acquire 100 per cent of GE Capital Aviation Services. Under the terms of the agreement, which has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of AerCap and GE, GE will receive 111.5 million newly issued AerCap shares (with a market value of approximately $6 billion as of March 9, 2021), $24 billion of cash and $1 billion of AerCap notes and/or cash. GE will be subject to a staged lock-up agreement allowing it to dispose a portion of its stake after nine months and the entirety of its stake after 15 months. GE also will be subject to a customary standstill and other provisions.


AerCap acquisition of GECAS would be biggest ever aircraft leasing transaction
Monday 8th March 2021: Bloomberg is reporting that General Electric is close to agreeing the sale of GECAS to AerCap in a deal speculated as being worth approximately $30 billion. GECAS has approximately 1,650 owned, managed and leased aircraft and had about $35.9 billion in assets at the end of last year while AerCap has about 1,330 aircraft and and assets of $42 billion. A merged portfolio, therefore, would give it a total portfolio of 2,980, a combination of the two largest aircraft lessors in the world by fleet numbers.


In the latest edition of Aviation Finance (March 4th): admiration from lessors for the resilience of the airline industry
March 4th 2021: Emanating from their Q4 Earnings Calls, CEOs from the exchange-traded aircraft leasing firms express admiration for the resilience of the airline industry and sound an upbeat note about the strength of the coming recovery. Also: Industry economics analysis: Boeing's latest Commercial Market Outlook; Freight trends; Financial Reporting: the Impact of Covid for lessor assessment of expected credit losses - EY’s Niamh Tobin on how lessors' collectability considerations should be reflected in their impairment assessments, and, much more.


In the February 18th edition of Aviation Finance: details of the ongoing cash burn highlighted by loss data.
February 18th 2021: The extent of the ongoing cash burn is again highlighted by reported losses, the latest coming from Air France-KLM, with a net loss of €7.1 billion in 2020. But successful fund raisings by Lufthansa, which issued four and seven bonds to the value of €1.6 billion, and equity issues by UK’s Jet2 and Norwegian start-up Flyr, show that investors remain positive; MAX groundings mean 737NG values have fallen less than A320ceo – up to now; Vaccinated-Only Flights could enjoy high load factors; Latest 'Data Snapshot' from Eurocontrol says the vast bulk of aviation emissions are by long haul flights; ESG impact - the focus of governments on the climate change agenda is putting pressure on equity investment managers and debt providers to seek compliance with ESG criteria from the companies they invest in or lend to. CORRECTION: In the E-zine sent to subscribers of the February 18th issue the headline "Aero acquires 20 aircraft from easyJet as lessors continue to acquire and place aircraft" originally erroneously referred to "Aergo" rather than "Aero" as the acquirer.


In the February 18th 2021 edition of Aviation Finance
February 4th 2021 The severity of the third wave of Covid-19 mitigated by daily improvements on the vaccine news front have combined to clarify the nature and scale of the challenges facing aviation financing. But a combination of steadfast resilience and the courage to persevere with sound business plans, along with innovation and creativity in finance, are key to the successful recovery. Examples such as AFIC's innovation, new approaches in securitisation, to legal remedies, such as NAS's reorganisation, as reported in this issue, will hasten the recovery when it comes. Also: Aircastle prices $750m senior notes; DAE prices $300m, redeems $500m notes; Anderson to become CCO at AerCap; Board changes at Nordic Aviation Capital; BOC sells five aircraft to Sirius; GOAL sells two E190-100LRs to US lessor; Flair Airlines adds 13 new 737 MAX 8s; Oliver Wyman predicts 2030 fleet of over 36,500 units; Doric in engine securitisation; easyJet Q1 sale and leasebacks raise $1bn; SMBC Aviation Capital deliveries; Thomas Cook Balearics to dissolve.


In the January 21st 2021 edition of Aviation Finance: A growing sense of optimism
January 21st 2021: The continued availability of ample debt provision at ultra low costs due to Central Bank actions is still in evidence. In a move that signposts return to some degree of normality, Castlelake has marked the re-opening of the aircraft securitisation market with the launch of a $595 million, 27 aircraft ABS. Other signals are the launches of two new leasing platforms, a $1.5 billion platform created by Kennedy Lewis Investment Management in partnership with Arena Aviation Capital, and a $500m platform established by Ares Management Corporation. The rising sense of opportunity is also evident in Alan Joyce’s insistence that the Qantas ultra-long-haul Project Sunrise will be even more relevant in the post Covid world to the enthusiasm of Norwegian start-up Flyr; In Avolon’s 2021 Outlook its Head of Portfolio Management, Jim Morrison, predicts that traffic may recover more quickly than expected. On the (needed) caution side, IBA President Phil Seymour is saying nevertheless that there is a still 'a long road ahead' for the sector.