CDB Aviation and Wizz Air Agree Sale-Leaseback for Four New A321neos
Transaction Underscores the Carrier’s Focus on Stimulating New Markets and Both Companies’ Commitment to Aiding Air Travel Recovery
DUBLIN – August 26, 2020 – CDB Aviation, a wholly owned Irish subsidiary of China Development Bank Financial Leasing Co., Limited (“CDB Leasing”), announced today the signing of a sale and leaseback agreement for a fleet of four new Airbus A321neo aircraft with the company’s current customer, Wizz Air Holdings Plc (“Wizz Air;” WIZZ.L), the largest Central and Eastern European low-cost carrier.
“The unrelenting drive to stimulate new markets demonstrates Wizz Air’s strategic efforts to aid the region’s nascent air travel recovery, while opportunely positioning its platform for the resumption of growth,” asserted CDB Aviation Chief Marketing Officer Peter Goodman.
Wizz Air, the largest Airbus customer of the A321neo variant, is expected to take deliveries of the four neos between the first and third quarters of 2021. Powered by Pratt & Whitney GTF engines and featuring the widest single-aisle cabin with 239 seats in a single class configuration, the aircraft will bolster the airline’s all-Airbus fleet serving short-haul operations.
“We are delighted to have collaborated with the Wizz Air team on this latest transaction in the sale and leaseback channel,” expounded Goodman, reiterating that the CDB Aviation team continues to be actively engaged in pursuing opportunities for aircraft transactions that enable “airlines to take up new market opportunities and navigate through the current environment.”
Jourik Hooghe, Executive Vice President & Group Chief Financial Officer of Wizz Air, said: “We are delighted today to be signing a deal with CDB Aviation. The four new Airbus A321neo aircraft allow us to continue to fly the greenest and most efficient aircraft currently available. In these unprecedented times, this investment into our fleet reinforces our goal to stay one of the most efficient and most productive airlines in Europe and emerge from the Covid-19 crisis as a structural winner.”
“Today’s operating environment is fraught with significant challenges facing both the airlines and lessors,” explained CDB Aviation Chief Executive Officer Patrick Hannigan. “With a degree of resourcefulness and a commitment to working together, we will collectively ensure the industry is on the right track to sustained recovery.”
Hannigan concluded: “This transaction reflects our team’s vigorous efforts, backed by our shareholder’s unique financial position and resources, to work alongside the airlines across all key markets to deliver bespoke financings that effectively support their strategic pathways to restoring their networks and long-term profitability through the ensuing recovery.”
About Wizz Air
Wizz Air, the largest low-cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe, operates a fleet of 127 Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft. A team of dedicated aviation professionals delivers superior service and very low fares, making Wizz Air the preferred choice of 40 million passengers in the last 12 months. Wizz Air is listed on the London Stock Exchange under the ticker WIZZ. The company was recently named one of the world’s top ten safest airlines by airlineratings.com, the world’s only safety and product rating agency, and 2020 Airline of the Year by ATW, the most coveted honour an airline or individual can receive, recognizing individuals and organizations that have distinguished themselves through outstanding performance, innovation, and superior service. www.wizzair.com
About CDB Aviation
CDB Aviation is a wholly owned Irish subsidiary of China Development Bank Financial Leasing Co., Limited (“CDB Leasing”) a 35-year-old Chinese leasing company that is backed mainly by the China Development Bank. CDB Aviation is rated Investment Grade by Moody’s (A1), S&P Global (A), and Fitch (A+). China Development Bank is under the direct jurisdiction of the State Council of China and is the world’s largest development finance institution. It is also the largest Chinese bank for foreign investment and financing cooperation, long-term lending and bond issuance, enjoying Chinese sovereign credit rating.
CDB Leasing is the only leasing arm of the China Development Bank and a leading company in China’s leasing industry that has been engaged in aircraft, infrastructure, ship, commercial vehicle and construction machinery leasing and enjoys a Chinese sovereign credit rating. It took an important step in July 2016 to globalize and marketize its business – listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX STOCK CODE: 1606). www.CDBAviation.aero
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