New lessor Armada expects first deal this quarter

This story is sourced from

Armada Aviation Leasing expects its first aircraft transaction to be completed in the first quarter.

The Dublin-based company was established last year by two individuals: ex-Boeing Capital Corp's Nadim Fattaleh and former Pegasus Aviation's Sean Cleghorn. Ex-NordCapital Aviation Peter Huijbers joined as a partner at the end of last year. A fourth person, Erik Dahmen is joining the company also as partner.

Under the structure, Cleghorn will link with the financial community while Fattaleh will handle commercial matters. Huijbers will handle operations while Dahmen will head the team.

Huijbers tells CAO that Armada Aviation Leasing is in the final stages to secure backing from an investor.

"We have backing from an investor outside the aviation industry and we will be able to buy aircraft soon to put into our balance sheet," comments Huijbers.

"We hope to close the deal in the first quarter of this year," he adds.

Huijbers says Armada Aviation Leasing will be seen differently as the other new leasing entities in the market. "Armada Aviation Leasing will be a leasing entity to the extent that we will buy aircraft with leases attached. We also are an investment boutique firm and we will manage aircraft in our fund," he says.

Armada Aviation Leasing is establishing a fund with a financial investor and will be looking at primarily new single-aisle aircraft.

Huijbers says the fund will have a fair amount of aircraft. "The strategy is to develop the fund initially with assets acquired through sales and leasebacks with airlines," he comments.

However he does not exclude sourcing aircraft with leases attached from other operating lessors.

Although Huijbers says Armada Aviation Leasing is still in the start-up phase, the company is now transitioning into its operational phase.

"By year-end we are hoping to get a good size portfolio but deals need to make sense financially," he says.

"There are some very interesting deals around with opportunity to buy at relatively low prices with interesting lease rate packages that make sense for investors," he says.