Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) assigns a senior unsecured rating of A- with a Stable Outlook to the 2-part Medium-Term Notes, Series A, due 2023 and due 2029, to be issued by Air Lease Corporation (AL), an aircraft leasing company headquartered in Los Angeles, California. The company intends to use the proceeds for general corporate purposes, which may include the purchase of aircraft and the repayment of existing indebtedness. KBRA most recently affirmed the Company’s issuer and senior unsecured debt ratings of A- on December 14, 2018.
The Notes will be Air Lease’s senior unsecured obligations and will rank equally in right of payment among themselves and with its existing and future senior indebtedness. The Notes will rank senior in right of payment to any future subordinated unsecured indebtedness and will be effectively subordinated to its existing and future secured indebtedness to the extent of the value of the assets securing such indebtedness. The Notes will be structurally subordinated to all existing and future indebtedness and other liabilities of our subsidiaries.
The ratings of Air Lease are supported by strong financial fundamentals, as reflected by a low leverage strategy, strong profitability, liquidity and cash-flow metrics, and largely unencumbered asset base. The rating also takes into account Air Lease’s strong management profile and the growing strength of its global franchise, which is backed by a young and in-demand fleet, a diverse customer base, substantial forward lease placement of orders, and a strong order book. The ratings are further supported by the stable outlook of the global aircraft leasing industry. These strengths are balanced by the disciplined funding and placement planning required to manage the significant order book, an element of key-man risk despite good succession planning, the cyclical nature of the industry, potential credit quality issues in the airline industry as a whole, and event risks related to air travel in general.
The ratings are based on KBRA’s Global Finance Company Rating Methodology, published on November 28, 2017.