The sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia will embark on the management and leasing of aircraft, thanks to the creation of a lessor under the brand “AviLease”.
The Public Investment Fund, which manages some $620 billion in assets, already supports various sectors – such as finance, mining, transport and construction – and covers large-scale flagship programs, including the Neom “living laboratory” city on the Red Sea.
AviLease will become a “core element” of the kingdom’s aviation ecosystem, according to the fund, offering trading, leasing and asset management services.
It says it will grow its operations through direct orders from aircraft manufacturers, sale and leaseback transactions and secondary portfolio acquisitions.
AviLease will become a “leading institution” and a “national champion” in the aircraft leasing industry, with a fleet of next-generation single-aisle and twin-aisle aircraft, the fund adds.
It has yet to specify which particular aircraft models will make up its portfolio, although its website uses an Airbus A320neo for illustrative purposes, nor has the organization indicated the number of each type in its development plans.
“The establishment of the company will contribute to the reduction of value leakage for Saudi Arabia, while improving integration into the global aircraft financing market,” he said.
AviLease will be 100% owned by the Public Investment Fund, benefiting from the organization’s strong liquidity and balance sheet to capitalize on leasing opportunities. Its creation is in line with the Saudi government’s “Vision 2030” national development plan.
“The launch of AviLease highlights [the fund’s] mandate to locally unleash capacity in promising sectors that can help diversify the economy and contribute to non-oil GDP growth,” the fund states.