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AirAsia expects $400m boost from A320 sale and leasebacks

AirAsia expects to generate $400 million in cash this year through sale and leaseback transactions on up to 16 older Airbus A320s.

Group chief executive Tony Fernandes says in a statement that it has mandated three lessors for the transactions, but did not disclose the lessors involved.

“To date, we have closed eight [sale and leaseback] transactions which will see a cash upfront of approximately $30 million in the second quarter of the year,” he adds.

In disclosing its first-quarter net profit of MYR149 million ($40.8 million), the airline made a loss provision of MYR38.6 million for the aircraft marked for sale.

The carrier's cash and cash equivalents at 31 March amounted to MYR1.6 billion, up MYR201 million from the start of the year.

Flightglobal’s Ascend Fleets database indicates that Avolon Aerospace Leasing has acquired two A320s (MSNs 6597 and 6465) in the year to date.

The airline is also in the process of transferring aircraft to its Labuan-based leasing unit, Asia Aviation Capital. The lessor will manage the aircraft leased to AirAsia’s associate carriers in Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and India, and will also market aircraft leaving the group’s fleet.

Ascend shows that the AirAsia group operates a fleet of 153 A320s, with orders for a further 311, including 304 of the re-engined neo variants.

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