ILFC Shopping For Aircraft

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It's been three years since International Lease Finance Corp., ordered a new aircraft and it's now poised to dip its toe in the water again. In fact, the company may make a splash with an order for 10 Airbus A380 aircraft. ILFC's new CEO Henri Courpron told Bloomberg there are no plans to sell off any more of the company's portfolio and wouldn't rule out the possibility that the A380 order will be announced at or before the Farnborough Air Show, which starts July 19. "We still have a $13 billion portfolio," Courpron told Bloomberg. "We have plenty of planes on order coming down the pike and we have engaged some fairly focused exchanges with the original-equipment makers to possibly complement that." ILFC is owned by American International Group, which received a major bailout from the federal government in 2008, but Courpron described ILFC as being robust. "I'm not worried about the outlook for ILFC," he said.

Because of the bailout, ILFC was unable to borrow money for more than a year and sold off $2 billion worth of aircraft last year. Courpron's rosy outlook is at odds with the Congressional Oversight Panel on AIG's bailout, which three weeks ago described ILFC as a "depreciating asset" that would have to keep selling planes to stay afloat until a buyer is found. Courpron wouldn't rule out selling more aircraft but only "opportunistically as part of a healthy portfolio management."