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Aircraft leasing market worldwide - statistics & facts

Aircraft leasing involves the use of a lease by airlines and other aircraft operators to obtain an aircraft from either another airline or from a leasing company. With 181 billion U.S. dollars required in funding by 2023 to meet new aircraft demand, the necessity to lease is born by the need to operate an aircraft without the financial burden of having to buy them. Aircraft leasing may also be used by an airline company in providing a temporary increase in capacity.

Types of leasing

In the airline leasing industry, an aircraft can either be leased using wet-leasing for short-term leasing, dry-leasing for longer-term leases, or through a combination of both. The region with the largest fleet of aircraft on operating lease was Europe with over 2,500 aircraft on lease in 2021. It is followed by North America with 1,751 aircraft on lease in that same time period.

Sources of financing

Two of the main funding sources in the aircraft leasing market are through capital markets and bank debt. Funding can also be obtained using cash or export credit. North America is one of the main region for commercial bank debt used for Boeing deliveries. In 2020, North America accounted for 35 percent of the bank debt.

A giant lessor in the making?

Globally, the largest independent aircraft leasing company is the Irish company AerCap. In 2020, AerCap’s fleet was valued at almost 29.8 billion U.S. dollars. The Irish-American company GECAS is the largest leasing company for commercial aircraft. The company had an estimated fleet size of around 1,074 aircraft in that same year. In March 2021, GECAS's parent company General Electric announced a 30 billion U.S. dollars deal to merge GECAS with AerCap. The merger was completed in November 2021.

Interesting statistics

In the following 3 chapters, you will quickly find the 20 most important statistics relating to "Aircraft leasing market worldwide".

Statistics on the topic

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