China Aircraft Leasing Group Holdings Limited announced the third delivery of a new A320 aircraft to Air India Ltd. The aircraft was delivered at the facilities of Airbus in Hamburg, Germany, on August 3, 2015.
This is the third aircraft delivered under a 12-year operating lease agreement between CALC and Air India for five aircraft. The first two deliveries were completed respectively on 3 February and 9 July 2015. CALC shall deliver the remaining A320 aircraft to Air India by the end of 2015 in line with Air India’s fleet optimization program on its current A320/A319 fleet. The newly delivered A320 aircraft, configured with maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of 77 tons and Required Navigation Performance (RNP) Authorization Required (AR), is equipped with Sharklets, 2.4-meter tall new wingtip devices, which enhance the fuel-efficiency and payload-range performance of the A320-family resulting in up to 4% lower fuel burn over longer sectors. Light-weight Dragonfly Z85 cabin seats are also installed.
Consistent with the previous two Air India deliveries, this aircraft is financed via the support of the Export Credit Agencies (“ECAs”). For CALC, this is the third aircraft financing backed by a guarantee from UK Export Finance (as fronting ECA). Among the transaction parties, Credit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank (CACIB) acts as the ECA financing advisor to the Group, Vedder Price as the transaction counsel representing the Group, TD Bank, N.A. as the lender and TD Securities as co-arranger; ING Capital LLC is the co-arranger and facility agent, Wilmington Trust SP Services (Dublin) Ltd is the security trustee and Watson Farley & Williams LLP is the transaction counsel representing the ECAs, the lender and the facility agent.
CALC has established a solid cooperation partnership with the ECAs; the credit status of CALC is trusted and recognized by these important international credit agencies. ECA financing enhances the Group’s competitiveness and geographical coverage and is an important international financing alternative for our global business expansion strategies. We have laid a good start with the Air India aircraft financing project, and are looking forward to expanding such alternatives even more with our overseas clients in the future. Our Group would like to express gratitude to the three ECAs for their unfailing support, and all the professional parties involved in the Air India aircraft financing project.
CALC’s portfolio is currently made up of 52 current generation Airbus and Boeing aircraft with an average age below 2.5 years. CALC’s strong clientele includes top-tier Chinese and Asian airlines, as well as newly established regional airlines. In December 2014, CALC placed a large order of 100 Airbus A320 series aircraft, including 74 A320neos; this is the largest single order ever made by a Chinese lessor and brings CALC’s cumulative order book to 140 A320 series aircraft. These orders facilitate CALC’s commitment to providing its airline customers with aircraft full-life solutions. CALC’s vision is to globalize its business in the leasing and remarketing of commercial aircraft. The Group’s overseas professional team, with extensive international aviation market experience, oversees and supports CALC’s global business development activities. With the current delivery to Air India, the continuous support from the ECAs with guaranteed financing, as well as the recent lease agreements secured with Air Macau and Pegasus Airlines, CALC marks its efforts for expansion outside China and solidifies its focus on the international aviation market.