Dubai Aerospace Enterprise agrees to sell 18 aircraft to institutional investors

Deal is part of plane lessor's goal to have $5 billion of managed aircraft assets

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, the biggest aircraft lessor in the Middle East, agreed to sell 18 mid-life jets to institutional investors as it seeks to expand its managed aircraft portfolio.

The planes are a mix of narrow bodies, wide bodies and turboprops, on lease to 15 airlines in 13 countries, DAE said in a statement on Monday, without disclosing the deal value or customers. DAE will continue to service the portfolio.

"We continue to build our managed aircraft portfolio," said Firoz Tarapore, chief executive of DAE. "This transaction takes us one step closer to our stated goal of having $5 billion of managed aircraft assets."


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DAE Capital, the leasing arm of Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, earlier this year said it formed an asset management unit that will seek to build a $5bn portfolio of AUM in the coming years. DAE Aircraft Investor Services (DAE-AIS) includes in its remit two aircraft portfolios that DAE already manages – Falcon Aerospace and Diamond Head. The latter was acquired as part of DAE’s acquisition of Irish lessor Awas last August.

DAE Capital will aim to service the needs of debt and equity investors in aviation assets. Its target is to grow the assets under management from approximately $850m to $5bn to meet demand from investors.

DAE’s third-quarter net profit grew nearly threefold to $95.9m from the same period in 2017, with results reflecting its acquisition of Awas. Revenues for the period increased to $354.7m from $246.3m.

The lessor, in which Dubai's sovereign wealth fund Investment Corporation of Dubai has a stake, plans to double its fleet of 365 planes over the next decade and is in talks with Boeing and Airbus for a narrow-body plane order of about 400 jets.