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Feature: 2011 operating lease survey

05 August 2011

There is uncertainty over the cost of jet fuel and new technology as the aircraft leasing industry welcomes new players.

Read more: operating lease survey 2011 operating lease survey A320neo CIT Aircastle Boeing Airbus Orix

In March last year one new venture began raising cash to invest in new aircraft. It was one of several aggressive, well-funded start-ups.

By December the lessor had a portfolio of 40 aircraft: by the end of the first quarter of this year it had 49, and it is targeting 100 by the end of 2011. In April the business raised more than $800 million in an initial public offering.

The company is Air Lease Corporation (ALC). This astonishing growth story demonstrates just how important companies such as ALC have been in attracting investors to aircraft leasing. It also raises questions about how such companies have grown so fast and what impact this growth has had on the leasing industry.

New leasing companies have injected at least $4 billion to $5 billion-worth of equity for financing aircraft. Much of this has been leveraged to finance new deliveries, a market that...

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