New World unveils joint venture with US aircraft leasing company Aviation Capital

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 March, 2016, 10:14pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 March, 2016, 10:45pm

The family of Cheng Yu-tung, which controls Chow Tai Fook Enterprises and New World Development, is upping their game in aviation leasing by establishing a second aircraft leasing company in partnership with one of the world’s largest players.

Bauhinia Aviation Capital, which will lease commercial planes, has been set up as a three-way joint venture between Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, NWS Holdings and US aircraft leasing company Aviation Capital Group, said NWS Holdings and New World Development in a joint filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange late Tuesday.

NWS Holdings, the infrastructure and services arm of New World Development, made its debut in aircraft leasing last year with Goshawk Aviation, which now has a fleet of more than 60 planes.

NWS Holdings and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises each has a 40 per cent indirect interest in the new firm, with the remainder owned by Aviation Capital Group, the companies said.

Aviation Capital Group is one of the world’s largest aircraft lessors with a fleet of around 390 planes. Bauhinia Aviation Capital plans to build a portfolio of approximately 50 narrow body aircraft with an initial capital commitment of US$600 million (HK$4,680 million) from its shareholders, the companies said.

Tsang Yam-pui, NWS’s chief executive, said the launch of a second aircraft leasing platform will strengthen NWS’s portfolio in the business.

“NWS Holdings is confident in the prospects of commercial aircraft leasing business in light of increasing globalisation and demand for air transportation.... we believe that we can capture a larger market share in this industry,” Tsang said.

Tsang said at a press briefing last month that NWS could make aircraft leasing a core business, as it had brought steady cash flow and a return of 12 per cent.