Singapore Aircraft Leasing Enterprise (SALE) has taken delivery of its fifth B777 direct from the Boeing flight line in Seattle. The B777-300, bearing manufacturer’s serial number 29067, will be operated by Emirates Airline under a 10 year lease term. The aircraft is the third SALE B777-300 to enter service with Emirates, making the Dubai-based carrier the lessor’s largest single customer.
Financing for the new B777-300, with full recourse to SALE, was jointly arranged and underwritten by Standard Chartered Bank, acting as Facility Agent and Security Trustee in its first transaction with SALE, and the Singapore branch of Arab Bank plc, which managed the syndication. The debt facility was oversubscribed, with Bank of East Asia and Norddeutsche Landesbank selected as lead managers for the deal. Meanwhile, the Singapore branch of Bumiputra Commerce Bank Berhad also joined the SALE banking group for the first time, as co-manager.
SALE is one of a limited number of operating lessors to include new widebody aircraft in its portfolio. Altogether, the company has placed firm orders with Boeing for six B777s, comprising four B777-300s and two long range B777-200ERs. Additionally, the company has acquired four B777-200ER on purchase and leaseback from airlines, of which three have since been resold at profit with leases attached. Other Boeing widebody aircraft acquired by SALE on the open market include two B747-400 freighters.
Robert Martin, Managing Director of SALE, said that the company was proud to continue to play a part in the Emirates fleet development programme and also welcomed the new financiers to its banking group.
“The smooth delivery of this aircraft reflects the mutually beneficial partnership which has been firmly established between Emirates and SALE,” he said. “We are also pleased to welcome be able to extend our banking group, as we continue to develop new sources of funding across the world.”
Established in 1993, SALE has swiftly grown to become one of the world’s leading aircraft lessors. Following the latest B777 delivery, the company now has a portfolio of 41 modern aircraft, with another 31 on firm order for delivery through 2008. The company has offices in Singapore, London, Washington D.C. and San Diego, California.
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