Leasing companies increased their market share to 40% of new deliveries at Airbus in 2012, up from 39% the year before.
Airbus handed over 122 new aircraft directly to operating lessors last year out of a total of 588 aircraft, representing a 21% market share. Another 114 units were acquired by lessors under purchase and leaseback agreements during the year. This compares with 115 new aircraft directly acquired from the manufacturer and 95 units obtained under purchase and leaseback agreements in 2011.
Operating lessors will represent 23% of Airbus deliveries this year. The European manufacturer expects to hand over at least 600 commercial aircraft to customers. In 2012, Airbus delivered 588 new aircraft, about 18 more aircraft than it initially predicted.
Of the 4,682 units in the Airbus backlog, operating lessors represent 959 aircraft, or a 20% market share, says Airbus.
"Lessors will continue to grow in terms of the size of direct purchases and sale and leasebacks," says EADS senior vice-president customer, project and structured finance Nigel Taylor.
Access to funding challenges is pushing more airlines into the operating lease market, he says.
"The main reason is the continued balance sheet issues for banks with obviously the new requirements coming in terms of long-term lending and Basel III requirements. This is going to make long-term financing more difficult to obtain," he says. "So a lot of airlines that cannot raise financing directly from the capital marketswill go via the lessors I think that will be the trend for 2013 and beyond."
"Another aspect is the whole off balance sheet operating lease treatment, which still provides advantages to airlines in terms of cash flow whether they directly lease aircraft from lessors or enter sale and leaseback transactions."
Taylor expects leasing companies to tap more the capital markets in terms of financing new aircraft deliveries this year.
Capital markets opened up for lessors last year, he says.
Last year, non- export credit agency (ECA) supported sale and leaseback represented 17% of last year's deliveries, about the same percentage as in 2011.
The manufacturer says 57% of its deliveries were funded by cash and commercial debt. This represented a 2% increase compared with the year before. Another 25% of the deliveries received export credit agency (ECA) guarantees. The remaining 1% was original equipment manufacturer financing.