ADGM says it is licensing three aircraft leasing companies

Free zone says new entrants will help boost the UAE’s expanding aviation sector

Abu Dhabi Global Market, the capital's financial free zone on Al Maryah Island, is in the process of signing three aircraft leasing firms. ADGM
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Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), Abu Dhabi’s financial free zone, is in the process of licensing three aircraft leasing companies, it said on Tuesday, as the UAE expands its aviation and aerospace industries.

The three leasing companies are Irish aviation services firms Airborne Capital Limited and Stellwagen Group, and UAE-based aircraft lessor International Airfinance Corporation (IAFC), which manages the US$5 billion Aircraft Leasing Islamic Fund (ALIF) in the Middle East.

“The addition of these prominent companies to ADGM’s aviation finance and leasing sector is another milestone in Abu Dhabi’s progress to becoming a world class, dynamic aviation hub,” ADGM said in a release to media.

The UAE is working to expand its aviation sector beyond the airline industry, investing in becoming a hub for the aviation and aerospace manufacturing and support services industries.


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Aircraft leasing is one plank of this strategy. Last August, the Dubai government-backed Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) acquired Dublin-based lessor Awas, in a deal that tripled the previous number of aircraft on its books and brought its estimated fleet value to over $14bn.

Last week, DAE’s leasing arm DAE Capital set up a dedicated asset management unit, DAE Aircraft Investor Services (DAE-AIS), with the intention of growing its services to clients.

“We are pleased to welcome Airborne Capital, Stellwagen and IAFC to ADGM’s growing family,” Dhaher Al Mheiri, chief executive of the ADGM Registration Authority, said of the forthcoming registrations at ADGM.

“The aviation ecosystem established by ADGM allows companies to integrate existing operational businesses such as lessors, banks, and law firms, with extensive legal structures available tailored to aviation financing and underpinned by English Common law.”