DAE delivers first of 18 737 Max 8 aircraft to American Airlines

Dubai - Delivery of the remaining aircraft is expected to be completed in the coming months


Issac John

Published: Mon 14 Dec 2020, 1:39 PM

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) Ltd. announced on Monday that it has delivered the first of 18 Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft to American Airlines, as part of the “purchase and leaseback” agreement signed with the latter in the third quarter (Q3) of this year.

The move follows a clearance given to Boeing to fly 737 Max 8 by the US’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) earlier in December.

The nod came 20 months after 737 Max 8 planes were grounded over a pair of crashes in the last two consecutive years.

Delivery of the remaining aircraft is expected to be completed in the coming months.

Firoz Tarapore, the chief executive officer (CEO) of DAE, said the Dubai-based leasing company could offer user-friendly solutions to American Airlines, a long-term customer of DAE, and to ensure that Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft return to service. “We are also pleased to further invest in these technologically advanced and fuel-efficient aircraft in line with our commitment to environmental sustainability,” he said.

The Boeing 737 Max 8 planes boast superior fuel efficiency and reduced emissions and noise pollution, underpinning DAE’s commitment to transition its fleet to newer technology assets, reducing the environmental impact of business and supporting its customers’ ambitions to become more sustainable operators.

“Our owned and committed fleet includes 22 Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft,” he added.

Altogether, DAE has a fleet of 381 aircraft worth $12.5 billion (Dh45.92 billion) as of September 30. It is looking to increase the fleet strength to 800 aircraft by 2028.

“We’re pleased with the DAE’s ability to help create a purchase and leaseback solution for these 18 aircraft,” said Meghan Montana, vice-president and treasurer, American Airlines.

“DAE’s ability to facilitate an agreement of this size in today’s environment is a testament to their reputation and their confidence in American Airlines, and we look forward to a successful, ongoing partnership,” she added.

DAE, which is owned by sovereign wealth fund Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), has secured 31 sale and leaseback agreements this year, which will expand its portfolio by $1.1 bn.

In the first nine months of the current financial year ending September 30, DAE’s net profits fell by $93.2 million (m) to $167.3 m from $260.5 m during the corresponding period in the last fiscal.

The aircraft leasing firm said its revenues also dropped to $984.1 m from $1.085 billion on a year-on-year basis.

In the Q3, DAE’s cash collection rate increased to 77 per cent from 69 per cent on a q-on-q basis.

The cash collection rate was 80 per cent till the end of Q3.

DAE signed agreements in Q3 to acquire 31 aircraft with a total value of approximately $1.1 bn, of which approximately $0.2 bn was booked during this period.

The reminder will be booked between October and December and early next year.

DAE maintained robust liquidity between July and September and ended Q3 with available liquidity of $2.1 billion after repaying a $430 m bond in August.

It ended Q3 with strong capital levels and net debt-to-equity ratio was below 2.5 times.

The Q3 also saw the leasing firm executing several deferral relief packages incorporating lease extensions and other lease value enhancements with 21 customers.

The total value of these deferral relief packages is $155 m, or 13 per cent, of 12 months’ lease revenue.

More news from