BAE Systems Signs Commercial Aircraft Agreement with Willis Lease Finance Corporation

15 Mar 2011 | Ref. 048/2010

Hatfield, Hertfordshire – BAE Systems and Willis Lease Finance Corporation of Novato, California have signed a commercial aircraft agreement under which BAE Systems Regional Aircraft’s Asset Management business will provide pre-owned aircraft acquisition, remarketing and lease management services to Willis Lease.

Willis Lease is one of the largest and most respected aero-engine lessors in the world, founded by Charles F. Willis some 30 years ago. As an industry leader, Willis Lease provides commercial aircraft engines to passenger airlines, air cargo carriers and maintenance and repair organisations through short-term and long-term operating leases. Its current engine portfolio numbers nearly 200 engines, valued at more than US $1 billion, and covers a wide range of engine types used on all the major manufacturers’ aircraft.

The company is now interested in acquiring certain pre-owned commercial aircraft as investment opportunities to complement and support its engine leasing activities. Willis Lease has selected BAE Systems Asset Management to be the provider for a range of services related to possible aircraft acquisitions and trading.

Initially, BAE Systems will research and identify suitable aircraft for acquisition based upon criteria provided by Willis Lease. It will then assist with commercial and technical evaluations of the aircraft.

Additionally, the agreement provides Willis Lease access to the services of BAE Systems Asset Management including remarketing of the aircraft along with a comprehensive range of lease management services. BAE Systems Asset Management technical lease services include a wide range of offerings from delivery, refurbishment management, mid-lease and re-delivery inspections, and maintenance reserve adjudication.

Charles Willis, President and Chief Executive Officer of Willis Lease Finance Corporation, said today; “We are pleased to partner with an aerospace organisation as capable as the Asset Management team at BAE Systems and we are looking forward to working together to build a successful relationship.”

Paul Stirling, Executive Vice President Asset Management stated: “This important agreement with Willis Lease will allow us to offer one of the most respected names in the commercial aviation business the wide range of our skills that we have built up over the past 18 years, through our extensive operating lease business. We are looking forward to working with Willis Lease to assist their future growth plans.”

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