New Saudi leasing company bags first airline deal


Saudi Arabia’s newly established aviation financing and leasing company AviaLease was formally launched on the sidelines of the Farnborough Airshow with its first leasing deal being done with Saudi carrier Flynas.

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The agreement is for 12 new Airbus A320 neo aircraft.

AviLease is sponsored by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), a sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia, and will focus on growing through purchase-and-leaseback deals with airlines, portfolio acquisitions, and direct orders from aircraft manufacturers, as well as considering corporate acquisitions as a means of expansion. The initiative underlines PIF's mandate to unlock the capabilities of priority sectors that can support the diversification of Saudi Arabia's economy and contribute to non-oil GDP growth.

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The company was announced earlier this month with a declared aim to become a leading institution across the aviation leasing value chain, maintaining an optimal portfolio of assets with its core focus on leasing, trading and asset management services. The company plans to become a leader in the aircraft leasing market.

The launch event and signing was attended by senior executives from leading global aircraft manufacturers, airlines, financial institutions, aviation supply chain partners, and the senior leadership of PIF and AviLease.  The occassion officially marks the launch of the new company, with the Flynas deal its first milestone.

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Fahad AlSaif, chairman of AviLease, said:  "AviLease is launching with ambitious plans. We are delighted to have our first agreement in place with Flynas. Today marks the start of the journey to become a leader in the aircraft leasing market. AviLease is going to have a critical role enabling the PIF’s aviation sector strategy in Saudi Arabia, contributing to the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision."   

Edward O'Byrne, the new company’s chief executive said, "We have global ambition and the robust financial backing of PIF. We are ready to capitalize on the strong and growing Saudi market to scale rapidly and become a leading aviation lessor. Our plan is to invest in the most technologically advanced aircraft to enable airlines operate the most fuel-efficient and environment-friendly fleet. We appreciate the confidence placed in us by the Flynas team and wish them continued success as we start our partnership with them."

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