Dubai firm set to boost fleet size with arrival of 64 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft

Boeing 737 MAX 10

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE), a global aviation services and leasing company, has signed a deal to acquire 64 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.  

Announced on August 14, 2023, DAE said that an “affiliate had signed a definitive agreement to acquire the rights, interests, and obligations of a portfolio of 64 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft from a wholly owned subsidiary of China Aircraft Leasing Group Holdings Limited (CALC)”.   

The portfolio attained includes 737 MAX 8s, 737 MAX 9s and the 737 MAX 10 aircraft, which is still yet to be certified. 

Delivery of the aircraft is scheduled to occur between 2023 and 2026, however the exact terms of the transaction were not disclosed. 

“We are delighted to be able to conclude this transaction with CALC to acquire a unique portfolio of 100% new technology, fuel efficient single aisle aircraft,” DAE’s CEO, Firoz Tarapore, said. “This transaction will also allow us to further deepen our existing relationship with Boeing and CFM International. Since inception and including this transaction, DAE has acquired and is committed to acquire approximately 500 Boeing aircraft. We look forward to growing this relationship even further in the coming years.” 

Tarapore added: “Approximately 20% of the acquired portfolio is on lease to airline clients who are also existing clients of DAE and we look forward to expanding our relationship with them. The remainder of the acquired portfolio of assets will be placed directly by DAE in the coming quarters.” 

CALC also confirmed the agreement in its own statement, noting that the firm had entered into a “Novation Agreement” with DAE. 

“The transaction is in the ordinary course of the Group’s business and represents a significant move in its fleet portfolio that provides flexibility to the Group’s strategy in response to the evolving aviation industry dynamics so as to achieve long-term sustainable growth,” a spokesperson for CALC said.  

As of December 31, 2022, CALC had 27 Boeing aircraft in its owned and managed fleet. 

Earlier in 2023, CALC completed its first 737-800NG cargo conversion project and in June 2023, the company took its first delivery of Boeing 737 MAX 8 from Boeing. 

“On a pro forma basis, this transaction will increase the percentage of new technology, fuel efficient aircraft in our owned fleet to approximately 66% from 50%. This transaction will add certainty to our growth trajectory. On a pro forma basis, this transaction will increase our fleet of owned, managed, committed, and mandated-to-manage aircraft to approximately 550 aircraft, valued at approximately US$20 billion,” Tarapore explained. 

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