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Aircraft transactions and activity in Afghanistan deliver robust third quarter for ACC Aviation

ACC Aviation, reports an exceptionally strong third quarter, with its US office experiencing its strongest three months in its short history. 

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Philip Mathews

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Aircraft transactions and activity in Afghanistan deliver robust third quarter for ACC Aviation

ACC Aviation, the global aviation services group, reports an exceptionally strong third quarter, with its US office experiencing its strongest three months in its short history. 

ACC Aviation’s consultancy arm also had a strong Q3 with consulting activity significantly up on previous years – 107% up, versus full year 2020 and 136% compared with 2019.   ACC Aviation’s closed aircraft remarketing/sourcing deals year to date now totals seven assets.  Aircraft trading activity has been dominated by narrowbody freighter feedstock and freighter converted aircraft – accounting for 60% of all deals.

Following the recent launch of its inhouse aviation finance advisory practice, headed by Viktor Berta, the aviation finance advisory team won its first mandate – to arrange the financing for acquisition and freighter conversion for a portfolio of Airbus widebody aircraft.  A further complementary pillar of expertise was added in early September with Julian Aldana joining the team to mark the company’s entry into technical services. Demand for technical services has been immediate and greater than expected particularly in the field of pre purchase inspections.

Afghanistan air lift – 10,000 plus evacuees, via various airlines

Unprecedented time critical charter activity saw ACC engage with various air carriers to help facilitate the movement of 10,700 evacuees on multiple flights to support the Afghanistan Air Lift in August.*  It also arranged a series of international and domestic charters for US athletes in Japan, propelling US activity 100% ahead of budget, and for the year.

In the UK, charter has been a strong performer since the onset of the pandemic, culminating in a 50% increase in activity in Q3 compared with the same period in 2020. Private jets and airliner corporate shuttle charter activity has been driven by a return to flying from the manufacturing sector, moving personnel to and from overseas’ manufacturing plants.  More sports and film industry charters were undertaken during the period, moving elite teams and artists in Covid-secure bubbles.

“This quarter was largely dominated by our rescue activity out of Kabul,” highlights ACC Aviation CEO Phil Mathews. “We were extremely proud to have played a meaningful contribution toward this massive air lift operation this summer which saw ACC teams – in the US, UK and Middle East – working together, around the clock, on some very complex, logistically challenging, and time sensitive sorties.”

ACC Aviation teams in the USA, UK, and Dubai worked with partner airlines to transport 10,700 evacuees in total, including a new-born baby girl whose Afghan mother went into labour over Dubai on a Turkish Airlines rescue flight destined for Birmingham.

ACC Aviation Trading highlights for Q3:

  • Concluded the remarketing and sale of two Dash 8-100 Combi aircraft for Canadian North
  • Closed the acquisition of 2x B737-400’s to Frontera/Aeronaves
  • Closed the acquisition of 1x B737-400 on behalf of Fly Wings
  • Exclusively appointed by US Bangla Airlines in Bangladesh to arrange disposal of three Dash 8 Q400s, plus spares
  • Engaged by an Italian private investor to develop a feasibility study and business plan for a start-up airline.
  • Mandated by a European operator to arrange the financing of an A340-600 portfolio acquisition and freight conversion programme
  • Released first Aviation Finance insights report
  • Leading on market insights and thought leadership with 5x speaking appointments in Q3 at Airline Economics and Air finance Journal events in London and Dubai; covering lessee and airline structuring; aviation finance and investment, and technical considerations for aircraft rejections during restructuring.

ACC Aviation summarises

This past quarter’s activity strongly demonstrated the breadth of our group’s skill and expertise which positions us well now the airline industry is rebuilding, new aircraft are being ordered, and companies are recruiting again, said Phil Mathews. Encouragingly, given its strength in arranging ACMI flights, of the estimated 60 new airline start-ups that have been identified, 20 % have identified ACMI as their business model. ACC’s Director of Leasing Dave Williams reported considerable interest in its expertise during World Routes in Milan, with airlines forecasting high demand for ACMI solutions to service the summer 2022 leisure market, based on the lack of capacity experienced in July and august 2021 caused by a reduction in readily available certified aircrew.

*  During 14 and 25 August Kabul, Afghanistan became one of the largest airlifts in history.  The USA evacuated 82,300 people from Hamad Karzal International Airport.  Over 122,000 people were airlifted abroad.

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