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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 June 2018

Dubai’s DAE Capital builds fleet of 383 aircraft

The leasing arm of Dubai Aerospace Enterprise acquired Dublin-based lessor AWAS last year

A DAE ATR72-600. The company acquired Dublin-based AWAS last August. Courtesy Dubai Aerospace Enterprise
A DAE ATR72-600. The company acquired Dublin-based AWAS last August. Courtesy Dubai Aerospace Enterprise

DAE Capital, the leasing arm of state-owned Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, said its total fleet rose to 383 owned, managed and committed aircraft at the end of 2017, boosted by the acquisition of Dublin-based lessor AWAS last August.

The completion of the acquisition from AWAS’ previous owners, private equity firm Terra Firma Capital Partners and the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board, gave DAE ownership of around 400 aircraft.

The deal tripled the previous number on its books and catapulted DAE Capital among the world’s biggest aircraft lessors globally with an estimated fleet value of over US$14 billion.

The purchase of a portfolio of 14 ATR72-600 aircraft from GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) in March, as well as the launch of the ABS ‘Falcon 2017-1’ in February, were cited as other highlights of 2017 in an operational update from DAE Capital on Tuesday.

The Dubai government-controlled company also issued its inaugural $2.3bn benchmark bond in the US capital markets in June.

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Over the course of the year, DAE Capital purchased 37 aircraft, sold 25 aircraft, completed 78 leasing transactions and reached 109 customers in 55 countries.

The average age of its owned fleet was 5.7 years as of end of 2017, and the average lease term remaining on owned fleet was 6.1 years.

In October, DAE said it intended to tap the Islamic bond market within the ensuing nine months as part of a strategy to diversify the company's funding.

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise chief executive Firoz Tarapore said the company would issue a sukuk by the middle of 2018, not specifying how much money the company could raise.