Helicopter Leasing 2015: Debt for lessors review


Credit - Airbus Helicopters

 Helicopter leasing companies successfully raised more than $650 million in 2015. Although this was down on 2014 and 2013, this mainly reflected GE’s acquisition of Milestone Aviation. Milestone Aviation is now funded by GE Capital so no longer has debt.

Milestone also repaid its debt of more than $2 billion, so the total value of outstanding helicopter debt fell significantly. “I cried when we got the payment from Milestone,” jokes one lender.

Although customers of leasing companies were struggling, there was no shortage of debt for lessors.

Waypoint Leasing successfully issued $200 million senior secured notes via Goldman Sachs and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.

Lease Corporation International closed an innovative Islamic finance pre-delivery payment facility with Lloyds and Bank of London and the Middle East. It also signed up Westpac to finance Australia’s North South Wales Ambulance service. Westpac is naming sponsor for the North South Wales Ambulance Service which is branded Westpac Rescue Helicopter Services.

2016 outstanding debt

  • Waypoint Leasing: $1.265 billion through
  • Lease Corporation International: $575 million
  • Lobo Leasing: $225 million

 Helicopter Leasing Company debt issuance ($ millions)

Milestone Aviation Group4007371550
Lease Corporation350225
Lobo Leasing225
Waypoint Leasing335505.5425
Total borrowed40010722761650
Total helicopter debt outstanding
(not allowing for amortization)