Tuesday 20 March 2018

Ireland's aircraft leasing firms place orders worth $44bn

The Airbus Industrie A380 aircraft performs a manoeuvre during its display at the 2014 Farnborough International Airshow in Farnborough
The Airbus Industrie A380 aircraft performs a manoeuvre during its display at the 2014 Farnborough International Airshow in Farnborough
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Aviation firms either headquartered in Ireland or with a significant presence here, have agreed to buy $44bn (€32bn) worth of aircraft so far this week at the world's largest airshow in Farnborough outside London.

The orders for over 360 aircraft have been made by seven aircraft leasing companies that operate out of either Dublin or Shannon.

SMBC Aviation Capital, headquartered in Dublin's International Financial Services Centre (IFSC), yesterday placed a record-breaking order for 115 Airbus aircraft that have a total list price of $11.8bn (€8.7bn).

That was the largest ever order for a single-aisle aircraft type by a leasing firm.

Aviation firms including lessors and airlines typically get discounts on list prices for big orders.

Avolon, which was founded and is headed by Clare entrepreneur Domhnal Slattery, has placed orders worth a total of $5.6bn with Airbus and Boeing this week.

Aercap, which is headquartered in the Netherlands but whose main operations are based in Shannon, has placed an order at Farnborough for 50 Airbus aircraft worth $5.1bn.

US-based Intrepid Aviation inked a deal for 10 Boeing 777-300s worth $3.2bn. The firm also operates out of Dublin.

CIT Aerospace, which is headquartered in the US and has its international base in Dublin, ordered Boeing and Airbus aircraft worth a total of $7.2bn.

Another firm with a Dublin presence, US firm Air Lease, agreed to buy 60 Airbus and 26 Boeings with a combined list price of $11.1bn.

Dublin-based leasing firm Elix, which specialises in turbo-prop aircraft, this week agreed to buy 25 such aircraft from Nordic Aviation Capital for $100m.

Owned by Japan's Sumitomo Mitsui bank, one of the world's largest financial institutions, SMBC is headed by former Guinness Peat Aviation employee Peter Barrett.

Speaking to the Irish Independent from Farnborough, Mr Barrett said the deal to buy 110 of the new Airbus A320neo aircraft and five A320ceo models was a reflection of the growing demand for air travel, particularly in Asia and Latin America at the moment.

"It's a statement about our intention for the future," he said, adding that most of its new aircraft will be headed to Asia and some to Latin America.

Among SMBC's existing customers are Air China, Qantas, Virgin Australia and AeroMexico. It also counts Aer Lingus and Ryanair among its clients.

Last year, Ryanair placed its own order with Boeing for 175 aircraft worth $15bn (€11bn).

The first deliveries of the new Airbus aircraft to SMBC will happen in 2016 and the last will be shipped in 2022.

Mr Barrett said that concerns that there may be an aircraft order bubble were "overstated".

More than 780 aircraft have been ordered at Farnborough.

Irish Independent

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