Macquarie AirFinance ready for portfolio growth

Hong Kong
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Operating leasing company Macquarie AirFinance is confident it can further grow its portfolio after closing 10 aircraft transactions over the past few months.

The San Francisco-based lessor purchased three Airbus widebody aircraft (A330s), as well as seven narrowbodies; including four A320s and three 737-800s. At the time of the closings, six aircraft were on lease while the lessor has been able to find new homes on the remaining four.

Macquarie AirFinance’s head of transportation finance Stephen Cook, the company has 125 aircraft as part of its transportation portfolio that also includes helicopter and rail assets.

“We are comfortable with mid-life assets, between five and 10 years old models. We find the mid-life assets more attractive for our model. We could acquire more aircraft but we need to get the right returns,” he says at the ISTAT Asian conference on Hong Kong.

Macquarie AirFinance has also been selling older aircraft to balance its portfolio but is eyeing further deals.

“We would like to grow as part of the bank’s balance sheet. Macquarie has more capacity at the bank level to step up the transportation activity. We could double the size of our transportation portfolio.”

The lessor’s parent company Macquarie Group acquired a 53-aircraft portfolio from ILFC in April 2010 in a $1.99 billion transaction.