Plane lessor DAE signs agreements to sell aircraft worth $500m

Transactions involving nine wide and narrow-body jets are expected to close in 2021

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES  27 August 2018- Interview with Firaz Tirapore, CEO of  Dubai government backed Dubai Aerospace Enterprise at his office in DIFC, Dubai. Leslie Pableo for The National for Sarah Townsend story
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Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, the Middle East's biggest plane lessor, said its leasing division DAE Capital signed agreements to sell nine narrow and wide-body aircraft valued at $500 million as the air travel industry recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The transactions are expected to close in 2021, DAE said on Tuesday.

“The post-pandemic market for trading aircraft assets is robust," said DAE chief executive Firoz Tarapore.

"These transactions demonstrate DAE’s ability to originate and trade aircraft assets with a lease attached from high-quality airline credits.”

The sale comes amid a slow and sporadic recovery in air travel recovery driven by Covid-19 vaccination campaigns and the relaxation of travel restrictions in some markets.

Last month, credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service revised DAE's outlook to stable from negative and affirmed its "Baa3" issuer rating, citing the company's strong liquidity position and capital management.

“Demand for leased aircraft will rise as air carriers rebuild capacity to serve strengthening air travel demand, helping to improve DAE's profitability and cash flow metrics over the next 12 to 18 months,” Moody's said in June.

The rating agency also expects leasing to remain an important source of aircraft acquisition capital for the airline industry.

Recovery will provide new leasing opportunities that will help to revive DAE's cash flow and earnings, Moody's said.

Last week, DAE said it acquired 16 aircraft, sold another 16, placed orders for 15 Boeing 737 Max 8 jets valued at about $1.8 billion at list prices and signed 91 lease transactions during the first half of 2021.

Updated: July 06, 2021, 1:56 PM