Los Angeles Business Journal

Air Lease Signs Two Big Transactions

By Deborah Crowe Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Air Lease Corp. on Wednesday said it entered into lease agreements to supply China Southern Airlines with 18 jet aircraft over the next three to four years, its largest such deal to date. The company also has ordered 36 jetliners from a major manufacturer.

China Southern, which is based in Guangdong Province northwest of Hong Kong, is considered Asia’s largest airline and the world’s sixth largest airline based on passengers carried. Air Lease, the Century City company founded by billionaire Steven Udvar-Házy, said it will supply 12 Boeing 737-800s, four Airbus A320-200s, and two Airbus A321-200s, all on 12-year leases. The company delivered two new A320-200s to China Southern late last year.

Air Lease’s “ability to structure and complete large, multiple aircraft, complex operating lease transactions such as this $800 million deal with China Southern for 18 new Airbus and Boeing aircraft on a multiyear delivery stream, underscores (our) global leadership, innovation and strong market presence,” said Udvar-Házy, the company’s chief executive, in a statement.

Separately, Air Lease signed a contract with French aircraft manufacturer Airbus to buy 36 of its A320neo aircraft, including 20 larger-sized planes expected to be in commercial service by late 2015, Airbus told the Reuters news service. The 36 planes are worth $3.48 billion based on current catalog prices. The order brings to 100 the number of Air Lease orders for Airbus aircraft.

Air Lease shares were up 38 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $20.89 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.