31 March, 2021

CDB Aviation makes headway during a very difficult year.

CDB Aviation, the global leasing giant and a subsidiary of China Development Bank Financial Leasing Co has reported its activity for 2020, which shows the firm made headway in what was an extraordinarily difficult year.  Indeed, 2020 was perhaps the toughest year ever for the aircraft leasing industry, as airlines grounded planes, downsized fleets and parked up thousands of aircraft. 

“The pandemic-battered environment has inflicted an array of unexpected and unparalleled challenges upon all stakeholders across the global air transport sector, generating significant near-term headwinds,” reflected CDB Aviation Chief Executive Officer Patrick Hannigan. “In the face of these adverse conditions, our team has persisted to attain continued growth and advance key initiatives, progressing several aspects of our long-term vision.”

CDB Aviation’s robust activity in 2020 was reinforced by the company leadership’s razor focus on “working with existing and new airline customers, our shareholder, and other industry stakeholders to support the sector’s recovery, while strengthening the platform’s capabilities and financial position to enable further growth and ensure sufficient liquidity for the future,” added CDB Aviation Chief Marketing Officer Peter Goodman.
During 2020, the team's steadfast efforts and initiatives were reflected in the execution of:

61 new leases and 16 lease extensions;
29 new aircraft acquisitions, including 9x 737 MAX 8, 7x A321neo, 6x A320neo, 5x 737-800, 1x 787-9, and 1x A350-900;
21 aircraft deliveries, worth $1.2 billion, from sale and leaseback transactions;
23 additional aircraft commitments under sale and leaseback transactions, totaling $1.2 billion, to be delivered in 2021 or 2022;
18 aircraft sales; and
$4.7 billion of financing transactions.
In addition, CDB Aviation contracted its first-ever A330-300 P2F freighter conversions, leading the market into this exciting new program, and delivered on the 2020 Management Plan to bolster capabilities as a top-tier platform through enhanced systems, policies, and processes, as well as key IT, analysis, reporting, and compliance projects, charting its course for the future.

As of December 31, 2020, CDB Aviation's fleet consisted of 399 owned, managed, and committed aircraft, and its global customer network comprised 74 lessees across 37 jurisdictions. Frontier Airlines, United Airlines, and WestJet Airlines were among a number of new customers added in 2020. The company ended the year with a total of 122 employees.

“Our continued success in the marketplace is solely attributable to the hard work of our global team and our dynamic internal culture that is adept at handling change and boosting interaction at all levels across the whole platform, particularly while working remotely,” asserted Hannigan.

The CDB Aviation team shares the belief with other industry stakeholders that the demand for leased aircraft will continue, with lessors playing a vital role in providing finance and liquidity to airlines, including through the sale-and-leaseback channel, as the gradual recovery ensues.

“Our prerogative, for both the near- and longer-term, remains centred around working in tandem with our shareholder, Board, and experienced team to leverage our financially strong, highly competitive, and industry-oriented position to deliver financing and fleet solutions to airlines in all markets, with a clear focus on maintaining growth momentum and building for the future,” concluded Hannigan.

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