Saudi wealth fund PIF is behind new aircraft lessor Ailease


Saudi Arabia’s giant sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), is the 100% owner of aircraft leasing venture Avilease, which launched this week.

he Irish Independent first reported on Wednesday that two of Ireland’s most experienced figures in aircraft leasing, including former managing director of Carlyle Aviation Partners Ted O’Byrne and aviation attorney Rob Murphy of law firm Arthur Cox, were directors of new aircraft leasing platform Avilease Aviation Management Ireland and one series of related companies.

Before joining Carlyle Aviation Partners in 2010, Mr. O’Byrne was Chief Investment Officer at Dublin-based AerCap, the world’s largest aircraft leasing company.

Veteran aviation attorney Rob Murphy is Co-Chairman of Arthur Cox’s aviation group and was previously Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel at CDB Aviation, having started his career at Guinness Peat Aviation.

He also advised on the formation of the Dublin-based leasing company Avolon, co-founded by Dómhnal Slattery.

Mr. O’Byrne worked for Airbus before joining AerCap in 2007 and became the lessor’s Chief Investment Officer in 2011.

He joined Carlyle in 2019 following the acquisition of Apollo Aviation.

In a statement, Saudi Arabia’s PIF said the launch of Avilease is a core element of Saudi Arabia’s expanding aviation ecosystem. The fund works to leverage the country’s vast oil wealth to develop alternative sources of income for the future.

“As a wholly owned company of PIF, PIF’s ample liquidity and strong balance sheet combined with its deep financing and investment structuring expertise will help the company capitalize on opportunities in the aircraft leasing market.”

PIF is one of the wealthiest institutions in the world with approximately $620 billion in assets under management at the end of March.

Avilease will provide leasing, trading and asset management services for the latest generation of aircraft from leading manufacturers

The company plans to scale through purchase-and-leaseback transactions, secondary portfolio acquisitions, direct orders from aircraft manufacturers, and potential corporate acquisitions.

According to PIF, Avilease will be led by a world-class team that will drive its growth, localize knowledge and expertise, and enable the development of the company’s desired infrastructure with the aim of becoming a national champion in the aircraft leasing market. Saudi wealth fund PIF is behind new aircraft lessor Ailease

Fry Electronics Team

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