Aquila Air Capital, a specialty finance platform focused on commercial aerospace, today announced the signing of operating leases for three Boeing 757-200F freighter aircraft with Astral Airlines. SkyExec Capital Jets acted as arranger and will service the lease during the term. The Aircraft are expected to be delivered to Astral starting in November 2021, upon completion of their scheduled maintenance.
Aquila Air Capital is a specialty finance platform focused on providing asset financing in partnership with industry participants as well as purchasing and leasing aircraft, engines and other aviation equipment. The company is a trusted partner to all players in the value chain, from buyers and sellers of assets to operators in need of creative and timely solutions for their critical business needs.
"We are delighted to bring on Astral Airlines as a customer. At Aquila, we are uniquely focused on providing cost effective and flexible solutions for our customers to manage through these unprecedented times. We look forward to this being the beginning to a long-term relationship with Astral to help facilitate their future growth," said Al Wood, CEO Aquila Air Capital.
"We are excited to enter into a lease agreement for three B757-200F aircraft from Aquila Air Capital and SkyExec Capital Jets. The aircraft will take over the Nairobi - Johannesburg and Nairobi - Dubaischeduled service with increased frequency for our clients in addition to new scheduled routes to and within Africa and Middle East in 2022. It will also offer point-to-point solutions for COVID-19 vaccines (from India / UAE to Africa) in addition to E-commerce shipments to new markets," said Astral CEO, Sanjeev Gadhia. The agreement marks a new partnership with the US lessor.
"The B757-200F will complement the Astral fleet with new and efficient options to and within its existing scheduled and charter freighter network, which comprises of over 50 destinations in Africa, Middle Eastand Southeast Asia," said Astral's Commercial Director in UAE, Mr. Satvir Kalsi.
"With this agreement, Astral Aviation will become the largest B757F operator in Africa and Middle East, in addition to being the only B767F operator in the region," said Astral COO, Michael Mutahi. "The B757F is a fuel-efficient, mid-range and narrow-body freighter, with a payload of up to 30 tons and a range of 5 hours, which makes it a perfect freighter for the African, Middle East & South East Asiaregion," added Mr. Michael Mutahi.