Saudi Arabia and PIF Investment Fund Launch New Aviation Leasing Arm  “AviLease”

Saudia Airlines A330
Laurent ERRERA from L'Union, France, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

LONDON – Saudi Arabia’s “​AviLease” will soon offer numerous aviation-related services, which include: leasing, trading and asset management services for airlines and OEMs alike.

Initially, after its launch, the new leasing firm will also explore purchase-and-lease-back transactions, secondary portfolio acquisitions, direct orders from aircraft manufacturers, and corporate acquisitions. 

One of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), announced on 30 June the launching of its aviation leasing arm ‘AviLease’ – a company dedicated solely to Aircraft Leasing. This will enhance Saudi Arabia’s aviation capabilities and put the country’s footsteps larger in the global aviation ecosystem.

AviLease will also take on larger leasing companies that have today found it difficult to survive and recover from the pandemic. Moreover, the company will also capture all aspects of aviation leasing and its entire value chain, creating an extensive portfolio of one-stop services for customers, including operators, OEMs and airlines (both small and large).

The company will start off by leasing, trading and managing assets (aircraft) for customers before venturing into greater depth of the leasing industry. This includes, at a later stage, sealing purchase-and-lease-back transactions with airlines, portfolio acquisitions and direct orders from OEMs like Embraer, Boeing and Airbus.

Apart from exploring the traditional customer base of airlines, the Saudi company will also venture into corporate acquisitions. All acquisitions and asset management will cover all sizes of aircraft, from regional, narrow-body and double aisle airliners. 

The company’s top brass management team has been carefully handpicked by a panel of professionals. The top brass will have both localised knowledge and expertise, yet visionary at the same time, in line with Saudi vision 2030. This will help the company to better understand local needs yet be expansionary at the same time.

The company itself will also contribute to the Saudi market, in terms of creating a value-added economy and employment scheme, for younger generations who want to venture into the aviation industry. This will also catapult the Saudi aviation scene onto the global stage. 

Being a pubic fund-backed company (PIF), the leasing arm will have strong knowledge of managing high-value assets and large amounts of funds, including strong knowledge of liquidity and balance sheet, and financing and investment-structuring knowledge, which will assist the company when it faces tough competition or dealing with strong players. 

The launching of the company will surely benefit the country’s competitiveness and will play a huge role in the country’s transformation from becoming an oil-dependent country to a non-commodity-based economy.

Aviation is one of the most important parcels in the diversification process of the Kingdom and is in line with the country’s 2030 vision. Tourism and medical services are amongst the industries tapped to play a role in such transformation.

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