IceLease poised to start buying new aircraft

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IceLease is gearing up to begin acquiring new aircraft in the coming months, said Kari Karason, managing director of IceLease's aircraft holding company IG Invest.

The Icelandic leasing group currently has no aircraft in its portfolio, after selling the last of its Boeing 737-500s to Ukrainian carrier Aerosvit Airlines last year via Madeira-based SPC Goiania Comercio E Servicos Internacionais.

New acquisitions would depend on "market timing" according to Karason, who confirmed that aircraft would be funded through a combination of commercial bank debt and equity financing. "In the past we have worked with equity partners on various projects and we're in the process of talking to different groups that might want to join us," he said.

The variant of aircraft that IceLease will be looking to purchase has not been disclosed, but the group already has one 787-800 on order. This aircraft will be delivered in 2016 and dry leased to Air Niugini, a source confirmed.

Three other 787 slots, set to be delivered between 2013 and 2015, were sold to Norwegian in May last year.

IceLease was a wholly-owned subsidiary of listed airline group Icelandair until the lessor's management team bought out two thirds of its shares in January 2011.

Since then, IceLease, which previously carried out all its aircraft trading with Icelandair, has continued to manage Invest IG and act as consultant to the airline group.

IceLease began disposing of its aircraft in 2007, when it sold a significant portion of its portfolio in order to "take advantage of a strong market for aircraft," according to its 2007 annual report.

It is understood that the subsequent financial turbulence was the reason for IceLease selling off its remaining assets and waiting until 2012 to make its comeback.