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24 Aircraft Leasing Industry Statistics, Trends & Analysis

The aircraft leasing industry involves the use of rental agreements by airlines and other operators to obtain a plane. It may be obtained from a dedicated leasing company or another airline. To meet new aircraft demands by 2022, over $182 billion in additional funding is expected. Leasing makes the aircraft available without the capital expenses of owning one. Many leases are temporary.

The region with the largest fleet of aircraft which are operational on leases is Europe, with over 3,500 planes currently listed as being on lease. North America follows closely, with over 3,300 aircraft on lease.

Commercial aircraft leasing in the United States has seen revenues improve to $10 billion annually, but at the same time, the number of employed workers has decreased by 2.3%. There are currently about 400 firms currently active within the U.S. aircraft leasing industry today.

Important Aircraft Leasing Industry Statistics

#1. 40% of the global market share for aircraft industry is controlled by leasing arrangements. Since 2014, this segment of the industry has been listed as “satisfactory” for financing and debt agreements. (Boeing)

#2. 38% of the fleet growth for the aircraft leasing industry is funded by bank debt. Only 25% of the industry is funded by cash. (Boeing)

#3. Aircraft fleet growth in 2018 is expected to reach $139 billion. That’s about $17 billion more than the year before. Forecasts through 2022 place total market values at $189 billion. (Boeing)

#4. Funding distribution does vary by region. North America features more capital market financing for new aircraft entering leasing agreements than any other geographic region. China is the most likely to use bank debt. Sale-leaseback arrangements are most likely to happen in Europe and the rest of Asia outside of China. (Boeing)

#5. The sale-leaseback value of aircraft in North America is about 16% of the total new revenues which are generated in the geographic region each year. That is the lowest rate n the world, with the exception of South America and Africa, where the rate is just 6%. (Boeing)

#6. About 51% of lessor purchases for new aircraft deliveries are for sale-leasebacks. (Boeing)

#7. Ireland is one of the largest contributors to the global aircraft leasing industry today. Excluding tax contributions, the sector provides over $660 million to the local economy and more than 5,000 employment opportunities. (PwC)

#8. The stock of leased aircraft which are based in Ireland are valued at EUR 77.5 billion, which is a 65% increase over the figures from 2007. (PwC)

#9. About 45% of leased aircraft that are currently operating in the market are through Irish lessors. (Business Wire)

#10. Over $117 million is available through payroll in Ireland because of the aircraft leasing industry for domestic consumption. That figure is after savings, taxes, and other expenses are taken out. (PwC)

#11. There are over $110 million in payroll-related taxes paid each year by the companies involved with the aircraft leasing industry in Ireland and their employers. (PwC)

#12. Irish lessors have reported fleet growth rates of 36% from 2012 to 2016 within the industry. More lessors are moving to Asia, however, taking advantage of the surge in passenger transport growth to generate more revenues. (PwC)

#13. Europe represents over 46% of the lease income generated by the industry on 34% of the lease rentals which occur. Asia comes in second, providing 32% of the rental income for the industry. (PwC)

#14. The MRO segment of the aircraft leasing industry employs about 1,000 people in Shannon and Dublin, along with another 1,600 workers throughout the country. (PwC)

#15. Over $319 million, excluding non-recoverable value-added taxes, are spent in the procuring of Irish goods and services to support the global aircraft leasing industry. Property rent, leasing, professional fees, and mortgages account for 56% of this total expenditure. (PwC)

#16. The aircraft leasing industry in Ireland also provides over $4.9 million annually to the economy, provided by international delegates which attend airline economic conferences locally each year. (PwC)

#17. Delegates from nearly 70 countries travel to Ireland each year to discuss the pros and cons of aircraft leasing. 80% of the delegates to the average economics conference for the industry arrive from a foreign destination. (PwC)

#18. 24% of the delegates which attend the average aircraft leasing economics conference in Ireland are lessors. 28% come from airlines representing a total fleet size of 10,000 aircraft. 80% of the top leasing companies in the world also attend these annual conferences each year. The average delegate spends about $2,000 during their stay. (PwC)

#19. 58% of industry providers cite the double tax treaty network and the corporation tax regime as the top strength of the domestic aircraft leasing industry. To date, there are 73 double tax treaties signed, with five more awaiting ratification. (PwC)

#20. There are over 30 global international aircraft leasing companies currently operating in Ireland, including most of the world’s largest operators. (Central Bank of Ireland)

#21. All the leasing companies in Ireland are managing anywhere between EUR 83 billion and EUR 113 billion in assets. (Central Bank of Ireland)

#22. About 50% of the leased aircraft fleet is expected to operate beyond the plane’s expected retirement age of 25 years. (Central Bank of Ireland)

#23. There are more than 850 aircraft leasing companies currently operating in Ireland right now, with an additional 300 firms linked to the industry in some way. (Central Bank of Ireland)

#24. About 100 aircraft leasing companies in Ireland have never reported on the number of planes they actually own, which makes it difficult to know for certain how many aircraft are currently being managed by the industry. (Central Bank of Ireland)

Aircraft Leasing Industry Trends and Analysis

Forecasts for the aircraft leasing industry indicate a 6% CAGR is possible through the next 5-year period. With favorable policies being presented in Ireland, China, and the United States to encourage growth, coupled with higher passenger transport requirements internationally, the stage is set for providers to take advantage of the unique contracts this industry provides.

Several airlines have also suggested recently that they are seeking freighter aircraft, as our large retail delivery businesses, such as Amazon. With conversions of passenger planes to cargo aircraft occurring within the industry, there is a new segment to consider for future growth as well.

Unless there is an unexpected withdrawal of policy and regulatory support with the key geographic regions for this industry, it should continue navigating a course toward revenue growth.

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