SMBC Aviation Capital

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SMBC Aviation Capital
Industry Aircraft Leasing
Headquarters Dublin, Ireland

SMBC Aviation Capital, formerly RBS Aviation Capital, is one of the world's largest aircraft leasing companies. It is owned by a consortium of leading Japanese institutions, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing Company Limited (SMFL) and Sumitomo Corporation. Headquartered in the International Financial Services Centre in Dublin and with locations in Amsterdam, Beijing, Hong Kong, Kiev, Moscow, New York, Seattle, Miami, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo and Toulouse, the company employs 160 people.

The company currently has a portfolio of 453 aircraft (273 owned and 180 managed) with a further 203 aircraft on order from Airbus and Boeing, made up of a mix of A320neos , A320-200s, B737-800s and B737 MAXs. It has more than 150 airline customers in over 50 countries worldwide, including a range of traditional carriers alongside start-up airlines.

Its strategy is to own and lease technologically-advanced, efficient and frequently-used aircraft types. SMBC Aviation Capital maintains a young fleet with an average weighted age of 4.7 years, one of the youngest in the industry. The company has one of the highest ratings in the aircraft leasing industry with a BBB+ rating from Fitch.[1]

The company is now in its 15th year in business. In July 2016, the company completed a debut $500 million unsecured notes offering, which was eight times over-subscribed.[2]


The company was founded in 2001 and became RBS Aviation Capital in 2004. By 2005, it had taken delivery of its 200th aircraft and began to build a global presence with new locations in Toulouse and Seattle, with expansion into South East Asia in 2007. 2009 saw the completion of its first export financing deal and also the location of a representative in Beijing. In 2012, it was acquired by a consortium of Japanese institutions, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing Company Limited (SMFL) and Sumitomo Corporation for $7.3 billion which was the largest ever global sale of an aircraft leasing business. The sale completed on 1 June 2012 and the business was renamed SMBC Aviation Capital.[3]

In 2014, the company placed substantial orders for new aircraft with Boeing and Airbus, representing future commitments of close to $20 billion, comprising 110 A320neo aircraft and five A321ceo aircraft from Airbus, for delivery between 2017 and 2022, and 80 B737 MAX 8 aircraft from Boeing, for delivery between 2018 and 2022. The deal was valued at more than $8.5 billion.[4] The company also received its first credit ratings of BBB+ from S&P and BBB from Fitch.

In 2015, Fitch ratings upgraded the company from BBB to BBB+ making it one of the highest rated lessors in the industry. In 2015, the company also set up a €600million revolving credit facility.

Senior Management

The company is run by a management team with collectively more than 100 years of experience in the industry. The CEO, Peter Barrett assumed his position in 2004.[5] He is a former employee of Guinness Peat Aviation (GPA) where he specialised in aircraft cross border tax leasing and securitisations. Other members of the executive team include Barry Flannery, Chief Financial Officer, who has been with the company since its inception, Cathrine Ennis, Chief Legal Officer, David Swan, Chief Operating Officer and Brian Harvey, Chief Marketing Officer, who is based in the United States. The company’s Chairman, Shinichi Hayashida is based in the Dublin office. He has held s a number of international senior positions with SMBC and SMFL during his career.


Acquired in 2012, the company is owned and supported by a consortium of Japanese institutions, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing Company Limited (SMFL) and Sumitomo Corporation . Its shareholder base allows the company to provide its airline customers and trade investors with a broad range of financial solutions.

Aircraft Leasing in Ireland

Ireland is a major operational base for 14 of the 15 largest aircraft leasing companies globally and the majority are headquartered there. Irish-based lessors manage over 5,000 commercial aircraft, representing more than $130 billion by asset value.[6] That represents over half of all leased aircraft worldwide and one in five of the global commercial fleet.

Leasing of aircraft began close to 40 years ago, with the foundation of ILFC in the United States and GPA in Ireland. Many of the people behind today's Irish-based leasing companies learned their trade with GPA and Ireland has a deep base of knowledge, experience and professional skill base in the sector.

Within Ireland over 1,800 are employed directly in high value added, jobs in the sector, with a further 4,500 indirect jobs created in legal, tax, accounting and other professional services.

Aircraft Leasing Education

The leasing industry also supports cultivating and supporting the next generation of talent in Ireland to continue to develop the industry here. SMBC Aviation Capital is one of the principal supporters of Europe’s first masters in Aviation Finance in the Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business in UCD . The company is the only lessor in the industry with a graduate recruitment programme. Now in its fourth year, this programme aims to provide graduates with all of the necessary skills, knowledge and mentoring to enable them to pursue a career in this dynamic sector.

Global Airline Industry

The airline industry is a rapid growth sector, with half of the world's airline fleet expected to be leased by 2020, compared to 42 per cent in 2015.[7] It is also predicted that $51 billion worth of new aircraft deliveries in 2016 will be financed by aircraft lessors.


  1. ^ "Fitch Upgrades SMBC Aviation Capital Limited's IDR to 'BBB+'; Outlook Stable". Retrieved 2017-03-14. 
  2. ^ "Profits at aircraft lessor SMBC Aviation Capital hit $530 million". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2017-03-14. 
  3. ^ "RBS in €7.3bn sale of Dublin-based aircraft business". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2017-03-14. 
  4. ^ "Japanese lessor SMBC Aviation Capital buys 80 Boeing 737 Max planes". Reuters. 2016-11-10. Retrieved 2017-03-14. 
  5. ^ "SMBC flying high in dynamic aircraft leasing market". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2017-03-14. 
  6. ^ Clarke, Jody. "Half of the world's aviation fleet now managed from Ireland". Retrieved 2017-03-14. 
  7. ^ "Boeing: Traffic and Market Outlook". Retrieved 2017-03-14. 

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