New York City-based Fortress Transportation and Infrastructure Investors (FTAI) has acquired 16 Airbus narrowbody aircraft via sale and leaseback (SLB) financings with new Italian flag carrier ITA.
The firm is buying the aircraft from Alitalia, with a novation to ITA.
The transaction is expected to close in the ongoing fourth quarter, FTAI confirms.
The company expects to enter into a secured bridge financing in connection with the transaction.
Airfinance Journal identifies the aircraft as five A320 units and 11 A319s. They were manufactured from 2000 to 2007 and are equipped with CFM56 engines.
In October, Air Lease (ALC) announced that ITA had agreed to lease 31 new aircraft consisting of 15 Airbus A220s, two A320neos, nine A321neos and five A330neos under lease agreements from its orderbook with Airbus.
In addition to these 31 ALC Airbus aircraft, ITA has signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus for the purchase of 28 new aircraft: 10 A330neo aircraft for long-haul flights, seven A220-family regional units and 11 Airbus A320neo-family aircraft.
Deliveries of the A320neos will start after the completion of the business plan.
Overall, ITA will lease a total of 56 new Airbus aircraft over the course of the plan (13 long-haul units, including A350-900 aircraft, and 43 short- and medium-haul aircraft).
As for FTAI, in the first nine months of 2021 it acquired 24 aircraft and 44 engines, and it disposed of four aircraft and 31 engines.
The US firm confirms that it recently entered into a purchase agreement with Avianca for the purchase and leaseback of 19 A320-family aircraft, which is subject to court approval.