Plane lessor DAE signs $800 million in unsecured term financing deals

Two transactions have a weighted average maturity of 5.5 years

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, one of the world's biggest plane lessors, said it signed new deals for unsecured term financing worth $800 million as it seeks to maintain its strong liquidity levels.

Two transactions have a weighted average maturity of 5.5 years and each facility was underwritten by a leading bank in the region, DAE said in a statement on Tuesday without naming the lenders.

"The signing of these financing facilities underscores DAE’s commitment to maintaining exceptional liquidity and a strong balance sheet," Firoz Tarapore, chief executive of DAE, said.

"We have no near-term debt maturities, providing us with significant flexibility in the current interest rate environment."

DAE recorded a nine-month loss after a $576.5 million write-off before tax related to “loss of control” over planes it previously leased to airlines based in Russia.

The company incurred a loss of $335 million in the first nine months of 2022, compared with a profit attributable to equity holders of $90.9 million in the same period last year.

But before net exceptional items, the Dubai-based plane lessor said it earned a profit attributable to equity holders of $202.6 million during the nine-month period ending September 30.

Despite the write-off, the group’s liquidity and capital adequacy ratios remain strong, the company said.

Available liquidity was $2.8 billion as of September 30, compared with $2.9 billion on December 31, 2021.

Air travel has recovered and is driving up airline demand for aircraft. On the other hand, supply chain strains facing the aerospace industry are delaying aircraft deliveries.

The global aviation industry in 2022 charted a path to recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, the worst crisis in its history, with a boom in air travel demand and sky-high airfares as restrictions eased.

But the industry now faces tough macroeconomic and geopolitical headwinds that are raising questions on the longevity of the travel boom and the strength of the industry's recovery.

However, the strong, albeit uneven, recovery is set to continue into next year with varying degrees across different world regions, despite these headwinds as travel demand continues to grow and capacity remains constrained, according to industry executives and analysts.

Updated: May 30, 2023, 9:03 AM