Jazeera Airways launches aircraft leasing firm

13 October 2008
Jazeera Airways, which operates hubs in Kuwait and Dubai, has launched an aircraft leasing company, Sahaab Leasing.

The new group, which will have $375m in capital, is set to place a $2.5-3bn order for new aircraft in the coming months.

Jazeera’s chairman and chief executive officer Marwan Boodai, confirmed it is already in negotiations with Airbus and Boeing.

Sahaab is jointly owned by Jazeera’s shareholders, along with the German bank DVB and National Bank of Kuwait. DVB is arranging debt facilities for the new company.

Sahaab received the first $50m of its capital in the third quarter of 2008, with a further $50m to follow in the second quarter of 2009. The balance of $275m will be paid in the first quarter of 2010.

Boodai says the company will operate a limited fleet of four aircraft - two each from Airbus and Boeing.

Sahaab will operate an Airbus A320 and a Boeing 737 for short-haul routes. It has yet to decide on its long-haul fleet, between the A330 and A350 from Airbus, or the 777 and 787 from Boeing.

“We will place a single order before the end of the year,” says Boodai. “We expect the proportion of the global fleet that is leased will rise to 50 per cent from 30 per cent today, driven by higher demand for high utility aircraft, led by low-cost carriers.”

Although the company will initially focus on leasing to Middle East carriers, Boodai says he expects Sahaab to become a top five global leasing company by 2020.

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