Jet lessor DAE completes acquisition of Sky Fund I Irish

The previously announced deal was completed on November 18

B787. Courtesy of DAE Capital
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Aircraft lessor Dubai Aerospace Enterprise has completed the acquisition of Sky Fund I Irish and its subsidiaries.

Following the deal, DAE Capital’s fleet of owned, managed and committed aircraft, as well as those it has a mandate to manage, will grow to about 500, DAE said on Monday.

About half of its owned portfolio will comprise fuel-efficient, next-generation aircraft.

The value of the transaction, which was closed on November 18, was not provided.

“This acquisition of mainly next-generation, fuel-efficient aircraft supports our continued growth and furthers our commitment to invest in new technology aircraft, reducing the emissions intensity of our overall fleet,” said DAE chief executive Firoz Tarapore.

“We are delighted to welcome our new airline relationships to the business, and deepen our relationship with existing airline customers.”

Ireland-based Sky Fund I owns and is committed to own 36 aircraft on lease to 14 airline customers in 11 countries. Aircraft with next-generation technology represent more than 90 per cent of the acquired portfolio.

The deal was initially announced in October when DAE said it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire 100 per cent of Sky Fund I Irish and its subsidiaries, with the transaction expected to be funded by internal resources.

“The global shortage of aircraft availability and a rising interest rate environment is resulting in higher lease rental rates and robust residual values for the existing fleet,” Mr Tarapore said in November, when the company released its nine-month results.

“We continue to see demand for aircraft from airlines globally as travel demand remains resilient.”

Passenger demand for air travel has made a strong rebound, particularly during the peak summer season, as international borders reopened and coronavirus restrictions eased.

Air travel has recovered and is driving up airline demand for aircraft. However, the duration of this boom is in question as increasing inflation cuts into consumer spending while understaffing at airports and airlines makes travel a hassle.

Meanwhile, supply chain strains facing the aerospace industry are delaying aircraft deliveries.

DAE's plane acquisition also comes after the company said it lost control over planes it previously leased to airlines in Russia.

The company leased 22 aircraft to Russian-based airlines but ended the contracts in compliance with western sanctions after the start of the Ukraine war.

DAE repeated that it had “no control” over 19 jets currently in Russia and said it had “no way” to determine whether the aircraft would be returned in the future.

Updated: November 21, 2022, 8:22 AM