ALC ponders 'very young' used aircraft due to stable oil prices

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Operating lessor Air Lease (ALC) is open to acquiring "very young" used aircraft to boost its fleet this year now that oil prices appear to be relatively stable or even declining slightly.

"In the past, there was a massive shift to new aircraft due to the oil price environment; however, with the demand for oil changing, where production exceeds demand, used aircraft are starting to look a lot healthier than yesterday," says Steven Udvar-Házy, chairman and chief executive officer of ALC in an interview with Flightglobal..

Udvar-Házy would consider adding these aircraft on an "opportunistic basis".

"When oil prices increase faster than inflation the only refuge is new aircraft, but when fuel prices do not increase at the same rate, or when prices stabilise, then certain types of good used aircraft will start to regain some of their values," he says. "We will look at asset opportunities that we believe can be acquired at a deep discount," he says.

Still, ALC's main focus will continue to be the acquisition of new aircraft from Airbus, Boeing, Embraer and ATR "with a general target of 40-50 new aircraft per year added to the fleet along with some modest used aircraft dispositions from the portfolio" to minimize its average aircraft age.