Lessor Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) is acquiring 64 Boeing MAX aircraft from fellow lessor China Aircraft Leasing Corporation (CALC) holdings. The aircraft are all in CALC’s unfilled orders backlog with Boeing, with deliveries scheduled through 2026.
The portfolio includes 66 MAX 8, -9, and yet-to-be-certified MAX 10 that were ordered under a master purchase agreement in June 2017, followed by three amendments through March 2021. The 2017 order announced at the Paris Airshow was for fifty aircraft, including fifteen MAX 10s. It was the first direct purchase of CALC with Boeing. Two follow-on orders for 25 MAX each were placed in the last week of December 2018. CALC revised its MAX commitments from 92 to 66 aircraft in March 2021.
One MAX 8 has already been delivered to CALC in June, with onward delivery to Virgin Australia. Another MAX is due in September. Both aircraft will remain within CALC’s portfolio, but the remaining 64 aircraft are now to be acquired by DAE. The Dubai-based lessor will ‘refund’ CALC the pre-delivery payments already made to Boeing, to be completed by August 30.
In a statement on its website, Hong Kong-based CALC motivates the sale of the MAX portfolio: “The Board considers that the Novation Arrangement represents a good opportunity for the Group to adjust its Boeing fleet portfolio so as to provide flexibility to the Group’s existing operations and contribute to its long-term sustainable development. In its ordinary and usual course of business, the Group will continue to consider from time to time the acquisition of further aircraft from Boeing (pursuant to any future agreements or otherwise) or other aircraft manufacturers.”
For DAE Capital, the transaction means that it will grow its Boeing 737/MAX portfolio, which accounted for 27 percent of its total fleet until June. This compares to 32 percent for the Airbus A320neo fleet. Fifteen percent of DAE’s portfolio exists of Boeing 777Fs, nine percent of 787s, eight percent of ATR 72-600s, five percent of Airbus A350s, and four percent of other aircraft types. The total value of the fleet is around $17 billion.
The fleet will now grow to some 550 aircraft and grow the share of new-technology aircraft from fifty to 66 percent. “This transaction will also allow us to further deepen our existing relationship with Boeing and CFM International. Since its inception and including this transaction, DAE has acquired and is committed to acquiring approximately 500 Boeing aircraft. We look forward to growing this relationship even further in the coming years,” DAE says in a media statement.
Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016.
In 2022, he has gone full-time freelance. Richard has been contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He is also writing for Airliner World and Aviation News and until July 1 2023 in a part-time role with Dutch website and magazine Luchtvaartnieuws. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.