Willis Lease Finance Corporation (NASDAQ:WLFC) (“Willis Lease”) announced it has entered into lease agreements with Transportes Aéreos Guatemaltecos (TAG Airlines) (“TAG”) for four ATR 72-500 aircraft. The five-year deal sees the aircraft overhauled and refurbished, fitted with new Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127M engines.
“Over the past two years, our regional and specialty assets group has focused on growth through opportunistic procurement rather than traditional sale and leasebacks,” said Austin C. Willis, Willis Lease Chief Executive Officer, effective April 1, 2022. “This has enabled us to provide quality aircraft and engines at attractive rates to our customers. We purchased these aircraft in late 2021, and we are delighted to have signed these leases with TAG.”
The ATR72-500 aircraft is known to be one of the most efficient and environmentally friendly aircraft in the world. The aircraft can hold up to 74 passengers in a spacious two by two seating configuration.
“These four aircraft represent our flight into the future,” said Julio Gamero, TAG Chief Executive Officer. “We’ve been working with Willis Lease as a team to bring the aircraft to Guatemala in ‘as new’ condition. The interiors are new, the engines are new, the airframes have been completely overhauled, stripped to bare metal then painted in our new TAG livery. We are excited to offer these aircraft to our customers in Guatemala and throughout our network.”
In addition to the aircraft leases, TAG will be included in Willis Lease’s ConstantThrust™ program. Under the agreement, program maintenance and care for the engines is overseen by Willis Lease, including providing spare engines when the need arises. “This is the first time we have signed a regional airline to our ConstantThrust™ program,” said Willis. “To date, we have provided ConstantThrust™ to our large-fan engine customers. With the signing of TAG, we are breaking new ground, improving the levels of service for regional carriers and providing them the same kind of superior service, dispatch reliability and support that major international air carriers enjoy.” Aircraft deliveries are expected to begin in the first half of 2022.