Aviation News Online

Embraer to lose control of aftermarket

AerFin acquires Saudi Arabian Airlines’ fleet of 15 Embraer E170-LR aircraft

In a bold move, AerFin will acquire Saudi Arabian Airlines’ (Saudia) fleet of 15 Embraer E170-LR aircraft, including all the spare parts, engines, tooling and equipment necessary to support the entire fleet.

The E170s, which have commonality with E175 and E190s, entered into Saudia operation from December 2005, and accumulated more than 350,000 flight hours over an average of 10 years with the airline. The last of the aircraft completed its last flight on December 19, 2016. Deliveries to AerFin are expected to commence in Summer 2017.

The transaction, remarketed by Airstream International Group Limited, is a planned element of Saudia’s fleet growth and renewal plan, one of many initiatives in its transformation programme and strategic plan SV2020. Saudia will introduce a record 30 new aircraft in 2017.

AerFin continues its focus on helping regional jet operators both achieve more predictable and lower costs. It will lease some of the aircraft, providing operators with guaranteed spare engine, rotable component and tooling support under innovative flight hour agreements.

AerFin CEO Bob James, who is speaking today at the Airline Economics Dublin Aviation Summit at the RDS, said: “AerFin is evolving very quickly as we focus on delivering the innovative solutions regional jet operators need to be competitive, from usage based pricing to whole aircraft leasing. The Saudia E170 fleet is barely 11 years old and, while we expect some aircraft to be reduced to spares, 8 aircraft had D checks within the past 12 months and provide excellent lease candidates.”

AerFin aims to offer extremely attractive lease rentals on the E170s gained through the capital cost benefits from such a fleet acquisition.

James added: “Investing in this product will position AerFin as the leading EJet spares and aftermarket services provider. Securing this volume and quality of product was key to delivering on our strategy to offer the lowest possible EJet spares maintenance costs world-wide. By expanding our BeyondFleetServicesTM programme (pioneered on the A340) to the EJet fleet, AerFin will be the preferred partner of choice for regional EJet operators.”

This will blow a serious hole in Embraer earnings, and as NAC, Castlelake and others ponder the possibility of Embraer aircraft coming back out of Alitalia, maybe they too will look on at this AerFin deal with green eyes. Indeed, NAC and Embraer have both most likely offered AerFin a significant premium for the aircraft to prevent the advent of a brave new world for Embraer aircraft that this deal instigates. Either way the facts are that AerFin has struck a major blow to Embraer and AerFin management and investors are positioned perfectly for a win-win future. Investors everywhere should take note of this deal and look more closely at how Embraer can and will reply to this significant threat to their bottom line. Conversely investors should look once again at those companies that are able to cross the aftermarket and leasing divide, because there are serious gains on offer for those able to traverse the two markets as Bob James and his team at AerFin have. This is one of the best timed and executed deals for many years.

An in-depth interview with James will feature in the forthcoming Airline Economics Issue 37 (subscribe today using this link or enquire at the front desk at the Dublin Aviation Summit, RDS, Dublin). If you are not already registered to attend the first Dublin Aviation Summit, please do come along today and tomorrow. Entrance is free and you can register on the door.

There is no division between leasing, finance and the aftermarket, transitioning aircraft at speed and cheaply and being able to service aircraft outside of expensive power by the hour and tooling agreements offered by the manufacturers is an essential part of aircraft management in the 21st century, Airline Economics and MRO Global will continue to bring airlines and lessors together with the companies that keep their margins where they should be. Look out for a much expanded summit in 2018 along with new summits being launched in the USA and Asia.

Date: May 16, 2017

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