New EETC issuers not impacting lessors: ILFC

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The entrance of new airline issuers to the capital markets for their aircraft financing needs has not impacted lessors, says International Lease Finance (ILFC) chief executive Henri Courpron.

"It's not either or, there's always room for both," he says on the sidelines of a Boeing 787 delivery ceremony in Seattle on 27 June.

New issuers Air Canada, British Airways and Hawaiian Airlines have launched $2.09 billion in EETCs to date this year and Turkish Airlines is understood to be marketing a deal with lenders. All four carriers have previously used other sources to finance deliveries, including bank debt, leases and cash.

Scott Topping, chief financial officer of Hawaiian, told Flightglobal earlier in June that the carrier's EETC allowed it to open a new source of capital for the company as well as reduce its funding risk.

"Those are really important for the company to manage our enterprise risk in one fall swoop," he said.

"It's still, I would say, anecdotal," says Courpron on the rise of international EETC issuers, shortly after indicating to reporters that ILFC sees strong growth in aircraft leasing in Asia-Pacific - a region that has yet to tap EETC markets.

Using Emirates as an example, he says that ILFC "can't finance all of their aircraft" despite the carrier being one of the lessor's largest customers. He adds that it is good for the airline to "be balanced".

"For those aircraft [Emirates] don't have with us, I want them to find the most cost effective source of financing," says Courpron.

Dubai-based Emirates led the market for international issuers with its inaugural $587.5 million Doric Nimrod Air Finance (DNA) Alpha deal for four Airbus A380s in 2012, the first since the 2008 credit crunch. DNA Alpha launched a $630 million up to 10-year EETC for four Emirates A380s earlier in June.

Attendees of the ISTAT Americas aircraft financing conference in March anticipated that capital markets aircraft financing could reach $15 billion this year, up from about $13 billion in 2012.