(Stamford, Conn., December 17, 2009) -- Aircastle Limited (NYSE: AYR) announced today that it has placed six new Airbus A330-200 aircraft on long-term leases with South African Airways PTY LTD. ("SAA"). This is Aircastle's first lease with SAA, one of the leading airlines in the world. The six aircraft will be equipped with Rolls-Royce Trent 772B engines and are scheduled to deliver during 2011.
Ron Wainshal, Aircastle's Chief Executive Officer, commented, "This important transaction with one of Africa's premier airlines highlights Aircastle's leadership in the industry and serves as another positive sign that the overall climate in aircraft leasing is improving. Specifically, the lease agreements illustrate the success of our Airbus A330 program. With this placement, we have secured high-quality customers for 11 of our 12 new Airbus A330 orders. In addition, we believe that we will be able to access multiple sources of attractive debt financing for these aircraft."
"The combination of improving industry fundamentals, the Company's strong financial and operating foundation as well as today's important transaction significantly strengthens our future growth prospects. With a well diversified portfolio of modern, in-demand aircraft with nearly 100% utilization in the third quarter, Aircastle is poised to pursue growth opportunities actively in 2010 and beyond. We look forward to capitalizing on these opportunities as we leverage our conservative capital structure, world-class team and proven ability to originate deals and source capital."
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