In the space of 20 years Ireland has established itself as a major operational base for 14 of the 15 largest aircraft leasing companies globally, most of which are headquartered here. Irish-based lessors manage over 5,000 commercial aircraft, representing more than $130 billion by asset value. That represents over half of all leased aircraft worldwide and one in five of the global commercial fleet.

Ireland's prominent position in aircraft leasing

Leasing of aircraft began close to 40 years ago, with the foundation of GPA in Ireland and ILFC in the United States. GPA planted the seeds of a vibrant industry which has deep roots in the country. Many of the people behind today's highly successful Irish-based leasing companies learned their trade with GPA and Ireland has an exceptional depth of knowledge, experience and professional skill base in the sector.

It's a rapid growth sector, with half of the world's airline fleet expected to be leased by 2020, compared to 42 per cent in 2015. $51 billion worth of new aircraft deliveries in 2016 will be financed by aircraft lessors.

Within Ireland over 1,800 are employed directly in exceptionally high value added jobs in the sector, with a further 4,500 indirect jobs created in legal, tax, accounting and other professional services.

On December 21 we announced the completion of the acquisition of Goshawk Management Ltd and associated corporate assets. The acquisition creates the second largest global player by number of aircraft and the largest Japanese-owned aircraft lessor. The combined business has a portfolio of over 700 owned and managed aircraft and additional orders from Boeing and Airbus comprised exclusively of over 240 new technology narrowbody aircraft. 


In May, we announced an agreement that SMBC Aviation Capital would acquire Goshawk for an enterprise value of $6.7bn. This is a landmark transaction that will create the largest Japanese owned aircraft lessor and the second largest global player by number of aircraft with total assets of c. $37bn (including orderbook)


In January, we announced an agreement for the purchase of 65 aircraft from Airbus. This transaction underlined the company's commitment to further growth and represented one of SMBC Aviation Capital's largest single transactions with the European manufacturer.


In November we announced that our Issuer Credit Rating and Senior Unsecured Rating had been upgraded to 'A-' from 'BBB+' by S&P Global Ratings ("S&P").


In November, we received USD $1 billion new capital from our shareholders following the original announcement in November 2017 of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Inc. ("SMFG") and Sumitomo Corporation's ("Sumitomo Corp") intention to provide further capital.


In May, we received an upgrade from Fitch to A- from BBB+ and closed a further $500 million senior unsecured notes offering the following month. We also delivered our first Airbus A350 XWB to Asiana Airlines.


In July, we issued our inaugural unsecured bond, which raised $500 million and illustrates our commitment to diversifying our funding base. The bond was eight times over-subscribed demonstrating the market's confidence in our growth strategy. Proceeds from the bond will be used to fund the purchase of aircraft and the repayment of existing indebtedness.


Decision to provide a broader, market differentiating product proposition to airline and investor customers, also a major upgrade in IT capability, involving both new hardware and software. Fitch Ratings upgrade from BBB to BBB+, affirming our position as one of the highest rated aircraft lessors in the industry. Creation of a $600 million revolving credit facility.


Substantial orders placed for new aircraft with Airbus and Boeing, representing future commitments of close to $20 billion, comprising 110 A320neo aircraft and five A321ceo aircraft from Airbus, for delivery between 2017 and 2022, and 80 B737 Max 8 aircraft from Boeing, for delivery between 2018 and 2022. Corporate credit ratings of BBB+ from S&P and BBB from Fitch.


Sumitomo Corporation and Sumitomo Mitsui Finance & Leasing aircraft leasing activities merged with SMBC Aviation Capital, creating a platform with increased scale, expertise and product offerings.


$7.3 billion acquisition by two of Japan's biggest companies, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, owner of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, and Sumitomo Mitsui Finance & Leasing Co. Ltd and Sumitomo corporation. The largest ever global sale of an aircraft leasing business at that time and the biggest overseas takeover by any Japanese bank in over a decade. We become SMBC Aviation Capital.


RBS Aviation Capital takes delivery of 300th aircraft and places order with Airbus and Boeing for 95 additional aircraft for delivery between 2010 and 2015.


RBS Aviation Capital closes 36 aircraft securitisation, Airspeed. Locates representative in Tokyo.


Entry into the Russian market with our first order from Aeroflot for seven A320 aircraft.


RBS Aviation Capital places direct orders with Boeing and Airbus for 50 aircraft, takes delivery of 200th aircraft. Locates representatives in Toulouse and Seattle. Entry into the Indian market by placing a B737-800 aircraft with Jet Airways.


Lombard Aviation Capital rebrands as RBS Aviation Capital. The company concludes a leasing deal with easyJet for 15 aircraft. Its new investor markets team sells its first aircraft.


Lombard Aviation Capital has approximately 100 aircraft, 30 employees and annual operating income of close to $70 million. The company acquires an additional 19 aircraft from GECAS and completes its first leasing agreement with Ryanair for 10 aircraft.


Lombard Aviation Capital begins acquisition programme to undertake a number of large-scale deals, including the purchase of 25 aircraft from GECAS.


Royal Bank of Scotland acquires International Aviation Management Group, which becomes Lombard Aviation Capital. Lombard Aviation Capital takes responsibility for managing Royal Bank of Scotland's $5 billion aircraft related debt. Begins operating out of New York and Hong Kong. Acquires first 13 aircraft.