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Irish lessor Avolon owned or managed 525 aircraft at the end of 2019

Aircraft leasing company paid investors dividend of $285m in final quarter of 2019

Avolon chief executive Dómhnal Slattery with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at the official opening of the company’s global headquarters in Ballsbridge. Photograph: Robbie Reynolds

Dublin-based aviation lessor Avolon delivered, delivered, sold or moved 170 aircraft in 2019, an average of more than three transactions a week, the Irish company said on Monday.

Avolon, which buys aircraft from manufacturers and leases them to airlines around the world, owned or managed 525 aircraft at the end of last year.

The company’s annual review added that it had pledged to take a further 400 new craft from manufacturers such as Airbus and Boeing at end of 2019.

Avolon last year delivered 54 new craft to airlines, and moved a further 24 between customers. It sold 92 aircraft in 2019, five of which it managed.

Dómhnal Slattery, Avolon’s chief executive, described it as a “landmark” year for the company. He highlighted that it earned investment-grade ratings from agencies that assess businesses’ ability to repay debt.

Ratings agencies Fitch, Moody’s, S&P Global and KBRA all ranked Avolon as BBB or higher, indicating that there is a low risk that the company would default on debts.

“Our current ratings profile will ensure that we continue to have access to funding at attractive terms and with greater financial flexibility,” Mr Slattery said.

He added that Avolon’s prospects for this year were “positive” and said it was focused on continuing to give investors, Chinese group Bohai Leasing and US backer Orix, attractive returns.

Avolon paid these investors a dividend of $285 million the final quarter of 2019.

The Irish company repaid $3.7 billion of secured debt during the year, so less of its assets were used as security for loans. It also reduced the interest paid on its remaining secured liabilities.

Avolon raised $5.1 billion in debt during last year, including $3.6 billion in senior unsecured bonds, a $500 million unsecured term loan and a further $1 billion in other credit.

Avolon is headquartered in the Republic with offices in the United States, Dubai, Singapore and Shanghai.

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