ANALYSIS: Aircraft transactions - May 2013

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The Flightglobal Pro aircraft transaction monthly data analysis is split in three event types: operating leases, wet and sub-leases and the purchase of aircraft. The report covers single-aisle and long-haul aircraft as well as regional jets and turboprops.

A total of 279 commercial aircraft transactions were completed in May, according to Flightglobal's Ascend Online database. This compares with 173 in April and 160 aircraft transactions in March.

Last month, a total of 139 lease and wet-lease transactions closed, compared with 96 in April.

Lease transactions closed on 97 aircraft with the single-aisle market totalling 72 deals. In April there were a total of 64 lease transactions, including 57 in the single-aisle market.


Last month the Airbus A320 family aircraft was the most popular with a total of 52 transactions, or 54% of the total lease events. The A320 alone accounted for 30 transactions while another 19 were lease transactions for the A319 model. In April the 737 Next Generation aircraft were the most popular aircraft (18 transactions) in terms of leases, followed by the A320 model (13 transactions). The 737 Classics recorded 11 leases while the A321 had six transactions and four A319s were leased.

In May, the 737 Next Generation leases accounted for 10 units while another eight were for the Classics.

Last month, regional jet leases reached 16 units while another four were turboprop deals. Only four operating lease transactions closed in April in the regional market with the ATR products accounting for three deals.

The widebody market recorded only five operating leases in May, two more than in the previous month.

The wetleased market improved again last month as a total of 42 transactions were recorded, 10 more than in April and 18 more than in March.


Narrowbody wetleases totalled 31 transactions in May and represented 74% of the wetlease activity. The A320 model continued to be in demand as 15 transactions closed compared with 16 in April.

There were also five wetlease transactions for regional jets and turboprops in May, unchanged from the previous month. Widebody wetlease transactions doubled in May to six units. One transaction featured a new Boeing 747-8F, which was wetleased by Atlas Air to Etihad Cargo.

Overall transactions for narrowbody aircraft increased again last month with 152 units. This compares with 140 transactions in April and 92 in March. In May narrowbodies purchases accounted for 49 aircraft (33%), 10 aircraft less than in April. There were 72 operating leases (47%) and 31 wetleases (20%) in the narrowbody sector.


The 737 Classics accounted for 13 purchase transactions while another 12 deals closed on 737 Next Generation aircraft. A total of 10 transactions closed on Boeing MD-80/90s.The Airbus transactions included two aircraft while seven Boeing 757s were sold during May.


On the widebody front, seven Airbus A300s along with five A330s were sold in May. The large widebody market purchase transactions included two Boeing 747-400s and two MD-11s.

The turboprop activity accounted for 50 transactions last month, up from nine deals in April and 29 the previous month. Purchases accounted for 45 transactions with notably the Saab 340/2000 fleets accounting for 26 transactions. There were also 11 purchases transactions involving ATR 72s during the month, five bombardier Dash8s, two Fokker F50s and one ATR 42.

In May, two more Saab 340/2000s were placed under lease agreements, along with one Dash8 and one ATR 42. Another ATR 42 was placed under a wetlease agreement during the month.


There were 50 transactions in regional jet market last month, while 30 aircraft changing ownership, 16 operating leases and four wetlease transactions. The Embraer 145 models were the most popular aircraft to trade with 15 purchase transactions closed during the month compared with nine Bombardier CRJs. Three BAE Systems 146/Avro RJ were also sold in May, along with two E-Jets and one Fokker 100.


The regional jet market closed five transactions in April, while in March, it accounted for 39 transactions: 19 sales, 16 leases and four wetlease placements.

The month of May saw more activity in the widebody market with a total of 27 transactions closed, eight more than in April and March.


Purchase transactions accounted for more than half with 16 sales closed, up from 13 sales in April. Another 19% were lease acquisitions while the remaining 22% were wet-lease deals.