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The head of one of the world's largest aircraft leasing companies said Thursday new planes planned by Airbus and Boeing Co. (BA) weren't hitting rental rates for existing planes.
Ron Wainshal, chief executive officer of Aircastle Ltd. (AYR), also said the company would boost its planned spending on planes this year, with more opportunities emerging as banks pulled back from financing in the sector.
The impact of the new Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 Max on aircraft rental rates has been a subject of intense industry debate. International Lease Finance Corp., the world's second-largest lessor, has taken billions of dollars in write-downs on its fleet, citing the depressive impact of new, yet-to-fly planes.
Other leasing companies have not followed suit.
"Max and neo [have] had zero impact on rentals," said Wainshal at an investor conference.
He said rental rates for some aircraft types--notably the Boeing 737-800--have recovered "modestly," and are outperforming the Airbus A320. Both planes are due to be replaced by versions with new engines later in the decade.
Wainshal said Aircastle planned to invest at least $700 million in planes this year, $100 million higher than previously forecast.
ILFC's writedowns over the past two years have rattled an industry that had prospered from the growing popularity of airlines renting rather than buying planes.
The company attributed part of the charges to the depressing impact on existing plane values from new aircraft.
Most rivals, including the market-leading Gecas unit of General Electric Co. (GE) did not take parallel writedowns, and have said it's too soon to determine the impact of new planes that won't come into service until late 2015 at the earliest.
-By Doug Cameron, Dow Jones Newswires; 312-750-4135; [email protected]