A new aircraft leasing and finance company in Latin America plans to launch operations within 30 days targeting small and mid-size carriers. It says it is willing to take on the higher-risk airlines by acquiring relatively inexpensive older planes and offering non-traditional financing.
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Mexico City-based SkyLease Holdings, which incorporated in March and already is marketing some aircraft for other owners, expects most customers for SkyLease-acquired aircraft to use finance leases that lead to ownership of the aircraft at the end of the term.
SkyLease says its finance leases usually will require maintenance reserve payments and bigger security deposits, but could be ideal for small to mid-size airlines looking to accrue assets and increase their value. The company also plans to offer the more traditional operating leases on terms ranging from 36 to 84 months, but Carlos Ordonez, SkyLease’s director of operations in Mexico, estimates about 70% of the initial prospects are asking for finance leases.
Strong collateral, letters of credit or bank guarantees could be involved in the agreements, depending on the airline and the situation. Also, given an airline’s size and resources, a lease might involve only one or two aircraft at a time, he notes.
“Every deal is going to be different,” says Ordonez, who adds that he has been involved in aircraft trading in Mexico City for about 15 years.
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