New player enters the Russian aircraft leasing market

Gazprombank Leasing will start by leasing Western-built aircraft, but may switch to Russian-built types later on Gazprombank Leasing will start by leasing Western-built aircraft, but may switch to Russian-built types later on (Photo by Leonid Faerberg / Transport-Photo.com)

Gazprombank Leasing will expand its portfolio with aircraft. Initially the lessor will deal with Western-built airliners, registered in Russia, a representative of the leasing company told Russian Aviation Insider at the sidelines of an industry event. He did not specify the types of aircraft.

“We’ve got two projects underway at the moment. They are not linked to Russian-built aircraft, but at any rate, we are planning to have them registered in Russia, because there are certain regional preferences that we could benefit from,” a spokesperson for Gazprombank Leasing commented.

The company does not disclose its clients, because the project is at an early structuring stage. “They are operators. We’ve got a customer, who will be an intermediary in the transaction,” Gazprombank Leasing representative. He did not rule out that the contract might be signed before the end of the year. The aircraft are ready for delivery, but there are final agreements to be reached with the customers. “As a state-run company we are focused on Russian register and Russian revenue, so we have not set up any affiliated structures [to manange the transactions in off-shore zones] and are not planning to do so any time soon,” the spokesperson emphasized.

In the long-run, including Russian-made aircraft in the portfolio is also possible. “This has its own specifics, because airlines mostly prefer operational long-term leasing. We are researching this option. As soon as we understand everything in detail we’ll start working.”

Unlike financial leasing, operational leasing implies that the aircraft is returned to the lessor once the contract expires. However, due to lack of leasing practice with the latest-generation Russian-built aircraft, it is difficult to forecast how their residual value will change.

Gazprombank Leasing has so far been specializing in leasing of equipment for oil and gas mining and refining, machinery and metalwork. It also lends transport, rolling stock, industrial real estate, construction equipment and sea-craft.

Notably, aviation industry experts believe that the Russian aircraft leasing market will grow up to 10% this year.

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