Aer Lingus reveals leasing platform plans for ATR 72s

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Aer Lingus has unveiled details of a new aircraft leasing vehicle for regional franchise partner Aer Arann.

The Irish carrier acquired a 33.3% shareholding in the Cayman Island registered vehicle, which was formed to acquire eight new ATR 72-600 aircraft over the next 18 months.

Aer Lingus subscribed for the issue of 10,000 partly paid shares for $14.2 million and paid $3.1 million in 2012. It has recognised a liability for its obligation to pay the balance of the uncalled capital amounting to $11.1 million over a two-year period.

The carrier says it will subscribe for up to $3.5 million of new equity this year in the event that the joint venture acquires a further two aircraft.

Each of the equity investors in the joint venture holds an equal one-third shareholding and the ATR 72-600s acquisitions will be financed through a combination of equity and debt financing.

"We believe that this asset investment will support our regional partner Aer Arann, and represents an attractive opportunity which will generate a good financial return for Aer Lingus over the term of the leasing agreement," says Aer Lingus in a statement.

Aer Arann placed an order for eight ATR 72-600s along with four options last November. The aircraft will be delivered between 2013 and 2014.