Monday 2 March, 2009: Virgin Blue has closed a sale-and-leaseback deal with BOC Aviation for one late-2008 vintage aircraft and three new Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The aircraft will be leased for an average lease term of 10 years, with delivery of the three new aircraft scheduled for the fourth quarter of this year.
Virgin Blue Chief Executive, Brett Godfrey, said: “The financing of these aircraft amidst the challenging economic environment is an affirmation of Virgin Blue’s strong reputation in the market. We look forward to a long-lasting business relationship with BOC Aviation.”
Virgin Blue, Australia’s second largest airline with a 32% market share, will use the aircraft for domestic services and international flying in the Pacific region.
Steven Townend, Chief Commercial Officer and Deputy Managing Director of BOC Aviation, said the Company is pleased to increase its presence in Australasia with this transaction.
“Virgin Blue is an established name in the Australian market for business and leisure travel,” he said. “We continue to deliver on our expansion plans and are happy that the airline can partner us as we grow our fleet.”
BOC Aviation is the leading Asia-based aircraft leasing company with a portfolio of 104 modern aircraft operated by airlines worldwide. In addition, the company has 70 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.
BOC Aviation is 100% owned by Bank of China, the third largest bank in the world*.
*Based on market capitalization as at 27 February 2009.