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05 February 2020
BUSINESS

Etihad Airways to sell 38 planes to Altavair AirFinance and KKR

The aircraft portfolio being acquired includes Etihad Airways’ owned fleet of Boeing 777-300ERs and Trent powered Airbus A330-300s and A330-200s

In February 2019, Etihad cancelled orders worth $21.4 billion at list prices for Boeing and Airbus jetliners/Bloomberg

by Kudakwashe Muzoriwa

US-based investment firm KKR and Altavair AirFinance (Altavair), commercial aviation finance company, have signed an agreement to acquire 38 commercial aircraft from Etihad Airways in a $1 billion deal.

Tony Douglas, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Aviation Group, said, “We’ve made great strides in optimising our fleet structure over the past year, and this investment from KKR and Altavair AirFinance will allow us to take another step forward in this area.”

KKR stated that the acquisition will be made through aircraft leasing investment platform Altitude Aircraft Leasing, which was established by KKR’s credit and infrastructure funds in 2018 to acquire aircraft serviced by Altavair.

 “Investments like this one are exactly what we hoped to embark on when we first established our partnership with Altavair, whose experience and expertise in the global aviation market has been invaluable,” said Dan Pietrzak and Brandon Freiman, Partners at KKR.

KKR and Altavair said that the deal provides for the Boeing 777-300ERs to be leased back to Etihad upon purchase in early 2020, while the Airbus A330s will be delivered over the next 22 months and placed on lease with other international operators for either passenger operations or as converted freighters.

The structure of this transaction also provides us with significant flexibility, meaning we are well placed to respond to future growth requirements, said Douglas.

In February 2019, the UAE national carrier cancelled orders worth $21.4 billion at list prices for Boeing and Airbus jetliners, pushing forward with a drastic restructuring after years of operational losses.

Etihad slashed the order for Boeing 777-9 aircraft to six jets from 25, while cancelling the delivery of 42 Airbus A350 wide bodies, leaving it with 20.

While the airline said will continue receiving Boeing 787 Dreamliners, Etihad said it will decide what to do with the rest of the original order at a later date, through rescheduling, restructuring or reduction.


RELATED STORIES: Etihad Airways Altavair AirFinance KKR Boeing Airbus

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