China Airlines has issued a request for proposals for the sale and leaseback of two Airbus A350-900s, according to two sources.
The Taiwanese flag carrier has returned to the market after agreeing to sell and lease back five A330-300s earlier this month.
The deadline for bids on the A350s is 1 June, and the airline is seeking an average lease term of 144 months for the two widebodies, which are 2017-vintage, according to one of the sources, who received the RFP from China Airlines.
China Airlines wants to close the transactions by September, says the person, who adds that their own company does not plan to bid on the RFP as its portfolio already has enough widebody exposure.
“We are not so bullish on widebody aircraft at the moment. We have got quite a lot in our fleet already,” the person says, noting that an A320neo or Boeing 737 Max RFP would be more attractive.
A second source, a banker who was invited to provide financing to a lessor that received the RFP, says he would view China Airlines as a relatively good credit risk amid the pandemic, though has yet to make a firm decision whether to participate in the RFP.
“I think they are doing okay because their freighter business is good and they are still doing some business to mainland China,” the person says.
“I think a lot of people would be very interested, despite China Airlines losing money.”
Cirium fleets data indicates that China Airlines has 14 A350-900s in its fleet, all of which are owned by the airline and were delivered between 2016 and 2018.
The carrier holds options on a further six A350-900s.