Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 21 September 2019

DAE delivers and commits to $1.1bn in aircraft assets in first half of 2019

Dubai lessor grew its portfolio of managed assets to 51 aircraft valued at $1.3bn in six months

A DAE ATR72-600 aircraft. The lessor has delivered and committed to deliver over $1.1 billion in aircraft assets in the first six months of 2019. Courtesy Dubai Aerospace Enterprise
A DAE ATR72-600 aircraft. The lessor has delivered and committed to deliver over $1.1 billion in aircraft assets in the first six months of 2019. Courtesy Dubai Aerospace Enterprise

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise said it delivered and committed to deliver $1.1 billion (Dh4.03bn) in aircraft assets during the first half of 2019 as it expanded its portfolio.

The plane lessor grew its portfolio of managed assets to 51 aircraft valued at $1.3bn in the first six months compared to 40 jets in the same period last year, DAE said on Thursday.

"DAE’s capital position has gone from strength to strength over the years," Firoz Tarapore, chief executive of DAE, said this month.

The state-controlled company repurchased about 4 per cent of its common shares owned by Emaar, the biggest real estate developer in the UAE by market capitalisation, in a deal Emaar valued at $107 million. The transaction, expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2019, means DAE is 100 per cent owned by the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), the investment arm of the Dubai government.

DAE, which was established in 2006, became one of the world’s biggest aircraft lessors after acquiring Awas based in Dublin in 2017. The acquisition tripled the Dubai company's portfolio to about 400 aircraft, worth more than $14bn, at the time. Since the acquisition, it sold a large number of older, cheaper narrowbody aircraft and purchased a smaller number of new, more expensive aircraft which is why, although the fleet is smaller, it's still valued at around $14bn, DAE said.

At the end of the first half of 2018, the fleet size was 375. At the end of 2018, the fleet comprised 354 aircraft, it said.

The company said it sold 14 aircraft to an investor group, but continues to manage those aircraft, hence those sales do not affect DAE's owned, managed and committed fleet; they simply moved from the "owned" list to the "managed" list.

The lessor also said it does not consider an aircraft purchased until it is delivered. When it has an aircraft on order, it is part of the "owned, managed and committed" fleet. When the aircraft delivers, DAE announces that as a purchase, even though the fleet number doesn’t change.

The company purchased eight new aircraft, sold 20 jets and completed 24 lease transactions in the first six months of the year, it said. It has 110 airline customers spread across 56 countries.

The average age of its owned fleet is 5.9 years while the average lease term remaining on the owned fleet is 6.4 years, DAE said.

This month the global lessor said it raised a $440m syndicated bank loan. DAE signed a long-term unsecured revolving credit facility with First Abu Dhabi Bank and HSBC Bank Middle East as bookrunners and mandated lead arrangers. The oversubscribed facility was with a group of 12 lenders and DAE will use the money to support the "future financing needs of the business", it said without providing details.

It has increased its unsecured debt-to-total debt ratio to nearly 60 per cent, according to the company.

DAE, the Middle East's largest lessor, posted a 3 per cent increase in first-quarter profit which reached $99 million (Dh363.6m) compared to $96m in the same period a year ago. First-quarter revenues climbed 2.2 per cent to $360m year-on-year.

Updated: July 12, 2019 01:44 AM

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