New decade, new start
It has not been such a bad few years for helicopter leasing after all. In 2010, less than 1% of the world’s helicopter fleet belonged to lessors. Now our latest research shows that it is approaching 15%.
Milestone Aviation, which was acquired by GECAS in 2015, owns a fleet of more than 300 helicopters worth about $5bn. Both Macquarie Rotorcraft and LCI also boast a portfolio of more than $1bn each. Nova Capital and Lobo Leasing have accumulated fleets of $350m and $300m respectively.
Not all investors and lenders will agree, but it could be said that helicopter leasing came at the perfect time. In tough markets leasing was a more welcome alternative to owning than ever before.
There is a lot of comparison between commercial aircraft leasing – where almost 50% of aircraft are now on operating leases – and helicopters. Helicopter leasing penetration may be below this, but adoption is happening much faster than it did with airlines.