A Member of Bank of China Group

Press Release

BOC Aviation Strengthens Market Position during Downturn

03 Feb 2010

BOC Aviation closed 2009 with a portfolio of 142 aircraft as it continued to deliver on its counter-cyclical strategy of expanding via purchase and leasebacks since the downturn in the aviation industry began in 2008.  The Company took delivery of 48 aircraft in 2009, of which 23 were from purchase and leaseback deals closed during the year.  BOC Aviation’s total assets exceeded US$5 billion for the first time since it was established 17 years ago.

The Company signed agreements to acquire a total of 29 aircraft worth over US$2 billion from six major airlines, of whom four were new customers: Air France, Alaska Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Virgin Blue.  

Robert Martin, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of BOC Aviation, said the counter-cyclical strategy planned in 2007 and executed since late 2008 has enabled the Company to continuously improve the credit quality of its portfolio through the addition of financially sound airlines as customers.  “2009 was a landmark year for us as we built on business relationships with leading carriers that have a good strategy to ride out the cyclical downturn in the industry.”  He added “Our risk management policy was put to the test and we are proud to say that no repossessions were required during the toughest year in aviation history.”

The Company also grew its fee income business by signing agreements as remarketing agent and lease manager for eight aircraft on behalf of European and Japanese financial institutions.  At year end, BOC Aviation managed a total of 24 aircraft on behalf of third parties.

With a portfolio of aircraft all in service with 41 airlines in 26 countries as at 31 December 2009, BOC Aviation is confident of continued growth in the operating lease industry, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region which IATA has noted is the world’s largest aviation market*.  To meet demand in growing markets, the Company advanced seven delivery positions to 2010 from 2011 and 2012.

Headquartered in Singapore, BOC Aviation is the leading Asia-based aircraft leasing company with a portfolio today of 143 modern aircraft operated by airlines worldwide. In addition, the Company has 53 aircraft on firm order and 6 on committed purchase and leasebacks 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.   

BOC Aviation is 100% owned by Bank of China.

*Notes for Editors:
(1) IATA’s press release dated 1 February 2010 No: 4 said that “in 2009 intra-Asia-Pacific travel had eclipsed the number of travelers in North America as the world’s largest aviation market. Asia-Pacific’s travelers numbered 647 million compared the 638 million who travelled within North America (including domestic markets). By 2013 an additional 217 million travelers are expected to take to the skies within Asia–Pacific.”

(2) China and Southeast Asia created the world’s biggest free trade area on 1 January 2010.