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Goshawk Aviation will acquire 20 737 MAX 7s, the newest version of Boeing's fastest-selling jet. Photo: Handout

Hong Kong-owned Goshawk Aviation places US$4.5 billion order for 40 jets from Airbus and Boeing


Goshawk Aviation, an aircraft leasing company owned by the family of the late Hong Kong billionaire Cheng Yu-tung, has placed a US$4.5 billion order of 40 aircraft with Airbus and Boeing, in a move to bolster its aviation assets.

Goshawk, a 50-50 joint venture between conglomerates NWS Holdings and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, both controlled by the Cheng family, said on Tuesday it had entered a purchase agreement for 20 A320neo jets from Airbus and 20 737 MAX aircraft from Boeing, which are scheduled for delivery between 2023 and 2025.

The new jets will boost Goshawk’s fleet to over 220 aircraft, enabling it to capture opportunities in aircraft leasing and air transport, the Dublin-based company said in a statement.

Brian Cheng (from right), executive director of NWS Holdings and Chairman of Goshawk, Eric Schulz, chief commercial officer Airbus and Isabelle Floret, senior vice-president, leasing of Airbus. Photo: Handout

“A320neo and 737 MAX families are both of the best-in-class, modern, fuel-efficient and in-demand narrow-body aircraft incorporating the latest technologies that fit well with our focus, and effectively strengthen our portfolio to meet the varying needs of our expanding customers,” said Brian Cheng, a member of the controlling family, and executive director of NWS Holdings and chairman of Goshawk.

The move came amid a bright outlook for the aircraft leasing market globally on the back of rising demand for air travel. The industry is estimated to record a net profit of US$38.4 billion this year, up 6 per cent from last year, according to the International Air Transport Association.

Around 40 per cent of the 25,000 commercial aircraft globally are leased. China is on track to overtake the United States as the largest aviation market by 2022, according to the trade group.

The purchase follows Goshawk’s agreement in June to buy Irish aircraft leasing firm Sky Aviation Leasing International, which will add 51 aircraft to its current fleet of 130. The deal is pending regulatory approval.

Goshawk will operate 65 airlines in 35 countries with a fleet valued at US$9.1 billion upon completing the acquisition of Sky Aviation, making it the No 10 lessor in the world, the company said.