Aircraft lessor Avolon loses €67m in first quarter

The recovery of air travel is firmly under way, says Dómhnal Slattery

Aircraft lessor Avolon lost $81 million (€67m) in the first three months of the year as air travel’s recovery proved uneven.

Dublin-based Avolon buys aircraft and leases them to 146 airlines around the world, earning revenues from the rent paid by customers.

The company said on Thursday that its net loss for the first quarter of this year was $81 million, against a profit of $141 million during the same period in 2020.

Lease revenues fell to $470 million in the opening three months of 2021 from $644 million in last year’s first quarter.

Avolon ended the quarter with $7.1 billion in available cash, an increase of $1.5 billion on the same period in 2020. Its liquidity included $2.2 billion in cash and $4.8 billion in undrawn debt. Avolon’s operations generated $117 million in cash during the first quarter.

Dómhnal Slattery, Avolon chief executive, said that while air travel’s recovery from pandemic restrictions continued to be uneven, the worst effects were behind the industry.

“As we move towards summer it is clear that the recovery of the sector is firmly under way across the globe,” he said.

Mr Slattery added that domestic traffic in the US and China, the world's biggest air travel markets, was predicted to reach pre-pandemic levels in coming months.

“The increase in domestic air travel demand and rollout of vaccine programmes across the globe will continue to fuel the recovery,” he forecast.

Mr Slattery added that the industry would experience a more substantial recovery from 2022 onwards.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas