GE Capital Aviation Services to sell 17 aircraft to Orix for $750m

Japanese financial services group Orix will buy 17 aircraft from GE Capital Aviation Services for around $750m.

A source familiar with the matter was quoted by the Wall Street Journal as saying that the deal is expected to be concluded soon.

The sale is separate from GE's plan to divest most of its GE Capital financial services operations, and retain the units that support its core industrial operations.

GE Capital Aviation Services operates a fleet of more than 1,570 aircraft.

The company has reportedly sold some aircraft to Orix while a deal for the remaining ones is planned to close in the coming days.

The Japanese firm is purchasing narrow-body Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 airliners, which will help it strengthen its position to compete with larger companies.

"Purchasing narrow-body Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 airliners…will help strengthen its position to compete with larger companies."

The deal demonstrates Japanese financial institutions' appetite for the aircraft leasing business, which has huge potential for growth in developing markets such as Asia.

Said to be one of the major leasing firms, Orix manages 130 aircraft through its Irish subsidiary, Orix Aviation. The company forayed into aircraft leasing in the early 1990s.

Last year, Orix participated in a bidding process to acquire $4bn aircraft from Awas Aviation Capital; however, Macquarie Group ultimately acquired the portfolio.

In its annual current market outlook (CMO), Boeing estimated demand for 36,770 new aircraft between 2014 and 2033.