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Published on Thursday, March 1, 2018

AirAsia sells 182 Airbus jets in USD1.2 billion leasing deal

AirAsia has struck a deal to sell up to 182 Airbus jets in one of the largest aircraft financing transactions ever.

The budget carrier will sell the planes for about $1.2 billion to a group of leasing companies led by BBAM, which includes Ireland-based Fly Leasing Ltd and other investors.

BBAM also has an option to take more AirAsia aircraft as they are delivered over the next three years.

The jets are part of AirAsia's wholly-owned leasing division which it has been keen to sell off for some time.

AirAsia will lease virtually all the jets back.

The sale of its leasing arm will allow the company to concentrate on core business operations and raise about $902 million in cash.

"Today's sale is much in line with our stated strategy of disposing non-core assets and businesses, an undertaking which we have successfully executed over the last six months - starting with our training centre, ground handling unit and now our leasing unit," AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes said in a statement.

As part of the deal AirAsia will take a 10.2% stake in Fly Leasing.

AirAsia's shares have risen more than a third so far this year, giving the company a market value of about $3.9 billion.


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