More bank dollars in the leasing market than ever before: Udvar-Házy

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The leasing market is awash with more banking money than the sector has seen in the past forty years, according to Air Lease's (ALC) chief executive.

"There is, by far, more banking money for high-quality lessors in the leasing market than I have ever seen in my long experience in aviation," says Steven Udvar-Házy, chairman and chief executive officer of ALC in an interview with Flightglobal.

"Even with the seven or eight European banks that have been extracted from the market this has been offset by US and Asian banks that have stepped in," says Udvar-Házy, who began his leasing career in 1973. "In fact, it is now a very stable set of affairs that is more geographically spread."

He also notes the capital markets have gained a "high-level of comfort" with lessor financings. "The capital markets like issuers that have a diverse portfolio of airline customers, not just lending to one 'singular" airline," he says. "There is less risk."

This week ALC priced $400 million in senior unsecured notes at 4.75%. The notes were offered to the public at a price of 100% of par.

The lessor intends to use the proceeds of the offering to fund the acquisition of commercial aircraft and for other general corporate purposes, including reducing outstanding obligations under one of its revolving credit facilities.

The notes sale is expected to close on 5 February, 2012.