US investment firm KKR and Altavair AirFinance (Altavair), a commercial aviation finance company, have signed an agreement to acquire 38 commercial aircraft from Etihad Airways for $ 1 billion.
Tony Douglas, CEO of Etihad Aviation Group, said: “We have made great strides in optimizing our fleet structure over the past year, and this investment from KKR and Altavair AirFinance will allow us to take a new step in this area. “
KKR said the acquisition will be made through the aircraft leasing investment platform Altitude Aircraft Leasing, which was established by KKR’s credit and infrastructure funds in 2018 to acquire planes served by Altavair.
“Investments like this are exactly what we hoped to make when we partnered with Altavair, whose experience and expertise in the global aviation market has been invaluable,” said Dan Pietrzak and Brandon Freiman, partners at KKR.
KKR and Altavair said the deal provides for the Boeing 777-300ERs to be leased from Etihad when purchased in early 2020, while the Airbus A330s will be delivered over the next 22 months and leased with other international operators. for passenger operations. or as converted freighters.
The structure of this transaction also gives us significant flexibility, which means we are well positioned to meet future growth needs, said Douglas.
In February 2019, the UAE’s national carrier canceled orders worth $ 21.4 billion at list prices for Boeing and Airbus airliners, pushing forward a drastic restructuring after years of losses operational.
Etihad reduced the order for Boeing 777-9 planes to six jets from 25, while canceling delivery of 42 wide-body Airbus A350s, leaving it with 20.
While the airline said it would continue to receive Boeing 787 Dreamliners, Etihad said it would later decide what to do with the rest of the original order, through rescheduling, a restructuring or reduction.