AerCap-Gecas aircraft leasing tie-up
March 11, 2021 - Pandemic-hammered aviation leasing faces a shakeup after the world’s two most prominent aircraft financiers -- Ireland’s AerCap and General Electric’s Gecas -- announced a $30 billion-plus merger.
AerCap CEO Aengus Kelly’s decision to buy out Gecas (General Electric Capital Aviation Services) still needs shareholder and regulatory approval. The acquisition will likely conclude in the fourth quarter of 2021.
The deal doubles the size of Kelly’s company, already the world’s largest aircraft lessor. The two leasing firms’ combined fleet will total 2,583 aircraft across 200 airlines, putting it in control of approximately 18 per cent of the leasing market.
“The signs are there that the inevitable upturn in aviation is coming,” said Kelly in an interview with Bloomberg News after announcing the deal.
AerCap plans to continue investing in new technology aircraft in the coming years. Its fleet already has 683 Airbus aircraft, of which 596 are single-aisle, fuel-efficient A320 family jets that are easier to market with airlines.
While the two companies have 690 aircraft in storage because of the Covid pandemic, Kelly is bullish. “When summer comes, you’ll see a lot of those back in the air,” he said.