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Aircraft Finance & Leasing News.

Aug 20, 2007

Aer Lingus said it had secured a number of leased aircraft to provide a limited service for around 8,000 passengers out of an expected 45,000 to 50,000 travellers at a peak time of year. The company has been battling with unions to cut overheads since its privatization last year. Aer Lingus Chief Executive Dermot Mannion travelled on Friday to Shannon to meet local leaders to discuss the airline's decision. Despite protests, the government, which controls just over a 25 percent stake in Aer Lingus said it would not intervene. Aug 17, 2007

Airblue of Pakistan plans to buy somewhere between eight and 14 aircraft either from the Boeing 737 NG family or the A320 family of Airbus. A deal, which could be announced in time for the Dubai Air Show in October, could be worth USD$400 million - USD$700 million. Delivery would start in 2009 and Airblue would take one plane approximately every three months. A senior Airblue official, who asked not to be named, said the airline would most likely choose the Airbus A320. "We already operate these aircraft and have a comfort level with them. So it suits us to have more of the same family." Airblue currently operates six A320s and has another two on order. Aug 17, 2007

Airblue, Pakistan's biggest private airline, plans to spend up to USD$700 million over the next five years on new aircraft as it replaces its existing fleet of leased planes. Chief Operating Officer Shahid Khaqan Abbasi also said Airblue, which competes with state-run Pakistan International Airlines on several domestic routes, was considering a stock market listing. Abbasi said the airline was in talks with both Airbus and Boeing for the purchase of up to 14 short-to-medium haul aircraft. Aug 17, 2007

Boeing will hold the lead in large commercial jets over the next decade, according to a new report, but Airbus will remain a strong competitor as the market remains a two horse race. A report from market research firm Forecast International predicts that 9,528 large commercial jet transports, valued at some $986 billion, will be produced between 2007 and 2016. The firm projects that Boeing will build nearly 56 per cent of these aircraft, while Airbus will build 43 per cent. A handful of Russian and Ukrainian companies are expected to account for the remaining 1 percent. Aug 17, 2007

Mba remarketed a Bombardier CRJ200LR owned by ING Lease of Ireland and previously operated by defunct Independence Air to Global Principal Finance Co. Aug 15, 2007

Embraer, which continues to struggle with production and staffing issues, saw its second-quarter profit fall 51.6% to $67.3 million from $139.1 million in the same period a year ago. Net sales rose 11.3% to $1.1 billion. The company stated that industrial costs remain high because of longer production cycles, labor costs, overtime and the training of new employees. Wing assembly and parts subcontractors for the E-190/195 program remain the "biggest challenge." The work, which now is done in-house, previously was contracted out to Kawasaki Heavy Industries. Aug 17, 2007

Embraer is the world's fourth-largest commercial jet maker. The company said last month it delivered 36 jets in the second quarter and ended the period with a firm order backlog of USD$15.6 billion, up from USD$10.2 billion a year earlier. Aug 15, 2007

Embraer Quarterly Profit Drops 49 Percent. Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer said on Wednesday second-quarter profit dropped 49 percent because of a surge in costs as it ramped up production of regional jets. Net income fell to BRR79.7 million reais (USD$40.13 million) from BRR155.7 million in the year-earlier period. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, a measure of cash flow known as EBITDA, fell to BRR78.7 million from BRR305.2 million in the second quarter of 2006. Net revenue in the second quarter fell slightly, to BRR2.19 billion from BRR2.25 billion a year earlier. Aug 15, 2007

Etihad Airways of Abu Dhabi said on Tuesday it had bought an Airbus A320 and leased two others, adding the first narrow-bodied aircraft to its fleet as it expands its regional flights. The three A320s will be added to its fleet in September and October, while three more of the aircraft would be added in the first quarter of 2008, Etihad said in a statement, without giving further details. Etihad bought one Airbus A320 aircraft from US-based KJ Aviation Services and leased two from Air Malta, a company spokesman said. The first narrow-bodied aircraft will fly from Abu Dhabi to Tehran beginning September 1, 2007, Etihad said. Etihad has a fleet of 27 wide-bodied aircraft. It ordered 12 Airbus wide-bodied aircraft in June in a deal worth USD$2.4 billion. Aug 14, 2007

Kuwait Airways' orders up in the air. Kuwait Airways' planned $3 billion in orders for new planes may be blocked by members of parliament angry that the state-owned carrier didn't provide them enough information prior to inking deals with Boeing and Airbus. The order for 12 Boeing 787 Dreamliners and seven Airbus A320s requires parliamentary approval. Aug 14, 2007

Focus Aviation, acting on behalf of Central Air Leasing, managed the sale to UPS of an MD-11 formerly operated by Varig. Aug 16, 2007

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Date:Aug 20, 2007
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