New York investment firm Marathon Asset Management has expanded its aviation investment business by forming a $360 million fund for the purpose of acquiring and leasing commercial aircraft.

The fund will allow Marathon to purchase and lease "the most in-demand early- to mid-life" aircraft, says the company, which is eyeing narrowbodies, according to a source familiar with the transaction.

Marathon announced the fund's launch on 30 May; the figure of $360 million is confirmed by the source. The fund and additional financing will be used to acquire aircraft, says Marathon.

The asset management company launched the fund to capitalise on surging demand for commercial aircraft.

"Continuous rapid growth in global passenger air travel that is outpacing airlines' order capabilities, along with the ageing of global fleets and airlines' increasing preference for leasing new, fuel-efficient planes, is creating a compelling opportunity in the aircraft leasing sector," states Marathon head of structured credit Andrew Springer.

Marathon already owns at least one Boeing 737-800 leased to South African airline Comair and an Airbus A319 operated by American Airlines, Cirium's Fleets Analyzer shows.

Source: Cirium Dashboard