Archway Aviation has expanded its portfolio with the acquisition of two Airbus A321s from UK leisure carrier Monarch Airlines under a sale and leaseback transaction. Under the terms of the agreements, the two aircraft (MSNs 1941 and 2105) will be leased back for a period of six years. The first aircraft was delivered new to Monarch in 2003, the second in 2004, says Flightglobal's Ascend online database.
Archway funded the deal with internal cash resources but also raised the debt portion from Macquarie Bank, according to sources.
The transaction grows Archway's all-Airbus portfolio to seven aircraft. The lessor closed its first transaction in November 2010 when it acquired three A320s from BOC Aviation. The three aircraft (MSNs 1856, 1909, 1996) equipped with V2527-A5 engines are currently on lease to Turkish Airways through 2015.
In September 2011 Archway purchased a pair of A319s from BOC Aviation on lease to US Airways through February 2018. The 2006-vintage aircraft (MSNs 2669 and 2690) are equipped with V2524-A5 engines.
Last month Monarch told Flightglobal that it invited manufacturers to submit proposals for re-equipping its fleet as it looks to transition to a two-type operation. The company is seeking a total of 45 aircraft, to cover replacements and fleet expansion, with deliveries starting in 2016 running until 2021. Monarch operates 36 widebody and narrowbody aircraft and will mainly seek new aircraft as replacements for its Airbus A320/A321 and Boeing 757 fleets.
A decision on the new fleet could be finalised towards the end of next year. In the interim period, the carrier plans to phase in four new Airbus narrowbody aircraft in the first half of 2013 as 'bridge aircraft'.
Monarch will take delivery of two new A320s in March and April 2013 and a further two new A321s in May under five-to-seven-year operating leases.
Monarch has struck a total of nine Airbus sale and leaseback transactions to beef up its cash position since the beginning of this year.
The carrier sold two A330-200s to Guggenheim Aviation Partners for a period of seven years, plus two A321s to Jackson Square Aviation. Four A300-600Rs and one A320 that are coming to the end of their lives will also be leaving the fleet in the near term.