Chorus Aviation today announced it acquired six 72-600s with attached leases from Aviation PLC. Three of these aircraft are currently on lease to U.K. carrier, Flybe, and three to Virgin Australia Airlines. Commenting on the planned purchase, Chorus Aviation Capital’s President, Steven Ridolfi (ex Bombardier VP), said, “We are delighted to announce this portfolio acquisition, adding two outstanding customers to our growing pool of airline lessees, and welcoming the addition of the first ATRs to our diversifying fleet.”

The aircraft are the first ATRs added to Chorus Aviation Capital’s growing regional aircraft fleet. It is also the first time that ATR has to the Canadian market.  The move came as a surprise to many.  What might be going on?

First, when opportunity knocks…  As the table shows there has been a sharp rise in the number of parked -600s over the past year.  Notice how young these aircraft are.   If a finance firm sees something like this, it means opportunity is knocking.  The aircraft is a proven vehicle used worldwide.  If you can get a deal, take it.

About one-third of all the -600s are on lease.  So moving these are not going to be difficult if they come off lease from the current operators.  The three largest markets for leased -72-600s are Brazil, Indonesia, and Myanmar.  The former owner of these aircraft, Aviation PLC, announced it six -600s and is netting $31m.

The six ATRs are going to be placed in a subsidiary called Chorus Aviation Capital.  Chorus likely has noted the success of Nordic Aviation and apparently would like to grow its own portfolio.

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