S&P Global has upgraded Aircastle to an investment grade BBB- rating, citing the improved quality of the lessor's fleet.

The rating agency raised Aircastle one notch from BB+ with a stable outlook, it says today.

S&P cites the increase in the Connecticut-based lessor's fleet to 222 aircraft at the end of March from 153 aircraft two years earlier, as well as an improved composition with more popular narrowbody aircraft for the rating upgrade.

The expanded fleet aids Aircastle's "market presence", S&P says.

Narrowbodies made up about two-thirds of the lessor's fleet at the end of March, according to the rating agency. This increase comes as Aircastle has reduced its exposure to less popular types, including freighter aircraft.

S&P could downgrade Aircastle if the leasing market weakens, or if the lessor undertakes more aggressive debt-driven growth, it says.

Source: Cirium Dashboard