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A Member of Bank of China Group

Press Release

BOC Aviation Announces Record Activity for 2008

13 Jan 2009

BOC Aviation has concluded its busiest year ever since inception in 1993.  During 2008 the Company signed leases for 52 aircraft including 20 aircraft acquired via purchase-and-leasebacks (“PLB”).  A quarter of the transactions were completed in December alone.

Of the 52 leases signed, 32 were for the placement of new aircraft.  Four of the 32 aircraft have already been delivered to customers with the remaining scheduled for delivery from 2009 through to 2013.  The most notable PLB deal was a 10 Boeing 737-700 aircraft transaction with Southwest Airlines.  “On the back of a global financial meltdown, BOC Aviation has begun to execute its counter-cyclical strategy of acquiring aircraft via PLBs.  December was the busiest month ever in our Company’s history,” said Robert Martin, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer.  “We view the current difficult economic condition as an excellent opportunity to add good quality customers and aircraft.”  Besides Southwest, other new customers in 2008 include Aeroflot, Air Canada, Shenzhen Airlines and TUIfly.

Looking ahead, BOC Aviation expects to be active in the PLB market for the coming year.  “Airlines are expressing a lot of interest in PLB transactions as the global financial turmoil continues,” said Robert Martin.  “Only financially strong lessors can take advantage of this opportunity due to its capital intensive nature.  Having continued access to funding is critical and we are proud to say that we have the continued support of our bankers, the export credit agencies and Bank of China, our parent.  We utilized all three sources of funding for transactions that closed in the last quarter.”

BOC Aviation is the leading Asia-based aircraft leasing company with a portfolio of 97* modern aircraft operated by airlines worldwide. In addition, the company has 71 aircraft on firm order for delivery through to 2013.  BOC Aviation has one of the youngest fleets in the industry with an average aircraft age of less than four years.  During 2008, BOC Aviation took delivery of 26 aircraft and sold 12. 

BOC Aviation is 100% owned by Bank of China, the fifth largest bank in the world**.

*Including the remaining five PLB aircraft which have been closed with Southwest on 8 January 2009.  As at 31 December 2008, BOC Aviation had 92 aircraft in its portfolio.

**Based on market capitalization as at 31 December 2008.