AviLease, a plane lessor and financier backed by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, said on Wednesday it has secured a $1.1 billion five-year loan from a banking syndicate to fund the expansion of its fleet.
The unsecured term facility will be used for “general corporate purposes”, including the acquisition of more aircraft to add to the company’s fleet, AviLease said in a statement.
The financing consists of two parts: a conventional funding tranche of $850 million and a soon-to-be-signed Sharia-compliant tranche of $250 million, the company said.
“We are very pleased to announce the successful closing of our … unsecured term financing facility, supported by a syndicate of banking partners locally, regionally and across the world,” said Edward O'Byrne, chief executive of AviLease.
“The quality and breadth of demand for the debut funding far exceeded our expectations … it is crucial for us to work with a wide variety of international financial partners with strong balance sheets, who can provide incremental funding to support our growth objectives.”
Citibank, Riyad Bank and First Abu Dhabi Bank were among some of the financial institutions that helped arrange the transactions.
AviLease plans to expand its fleet to about 300 aircraft by 2030 as it aims to become one of the world's top aircraft leasing companies.
The Saudi Aviation Strategy calls for measures to triple annual passenger traffic to 330 million by 2030 and boost the number of destinations to 250, from 99 at present.
This strategy is backed by $100 billion in government and private sector investment.
AviLease, which was founded in June 2022 and has its headquarters in Riyadh, is part of the PIF’s efforts to further boost the kingdom’s aviation sector.
The company, which focuses on leasing, trading and asset management services, intends to source deals in both domestic and international markets.
Last week, AviLease purchased 13 aircraft from leasing company Avolon to bolster its growth plans.
The transaction included seven Airbus A320neos, two A330neos and a Boeing 737 MAX 8.
The lessor signed its first deal with Riyadh-based discount airline Flynas last year for the purchase of 12 new Airbus A320neo jets.