2008-07-02 TUIfly Sales LeasebackTUI Travel PLC Aircraft Sale and Leaseback
TUI Travel PLC ("TUI Travel" or the "Group") is pleased to announce that it has signed an agreement with AerCap Holdings N.V. ("AerCap") and Deucalion Aviation Funds (advised and managed by DVB Bank AG) for the sale and leaseback of 19 owned aircraft within the TUI Travel fleet for proceeds of $526 million.
AerCap have secured external facilities to finance this transaction, which will be fully satisfied by cash. The transaction enables the Group to further increase the flexibility of its business model while securing continued access to a modern and fuel-efficient aircraft such as the Boeing 737-800 NG. The Group will use the disposal proceeds to pay down existing debt.
The Group will continue to operate all 19 aircraft on operating leases with one to seven year terms within TUIfly, Thomsonfly and TUIfly Nordic. The aircraft portfolio included in the transaction comprises eleven Boeing 737-800s, six Boeing 757-200s and two Boeing 767- 300ER aircraft.
The transaction has no impact upon the ongoing discussions with Lufthansa regarding a potential merger of Germanwings and TUIfly, on which we intend to update the market in due course. The Board expects the transaction to be earnings neutral for the year ended 30 September 2008.
The book value of the assets included in the transaction at 31 May 2008 was $681m, and the resulting loss on disposal will be treated as a separately disclosed item in the year ended 30 September 2008. Commenting on the transaction Paul Bowtell, Chief Financial Officer of TUI Travel said, "We are delighted to have refinanced the aircraft which will further enhance the flexibility of our business model, and we look forward to a successful partnership with AerCap." "With this major acquisition of Boeing 737-800 aircraft, AerCap has strengthened its portfolio and continued to optimize its fleet with next generation fuel-efficient equipment which remain in strong demand in the current high fuel price environment. In addition AerCap is very pleased to welcome TUI Travel, a leading international leisure travel group, to our global customer base," said Klaus Heinemann, Chief Executive Officer of AerCap.