AMSTERDAM/DUBLIN/LONDON/SINGAPORE - TrueNoord has closed a new revolving warehouse finance facility of US$400 million which will be seeded with 17 aircraft already owned by TrueNoord and can be extended further by an accordion feature. The facility will be used by the specialist regional aircraft lessor to finance business development and expand its portfolio of 50-150 seat aircraft which includes jets and turboprops from Embraer, ATR, Airbus, MHI-RJ, and De Havilland Canada.
The new facility is provided by Citibank, Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking, Royal Bank of Canada, and NordLB. It will be used to fund new acquisitions and supports TrueNoord’s targeted growth strategy which is endorsed by cornerstone investors: Freshstream, BlackRock, Aberdeen and others. Legal advisers Clifford Chance acted on behalf of TrueNoord, Milbank represented the banks, and Flynn O’Driscoll acted as Irish counsel.
“This new revolving warehouse facility will finance TrueNoord’s regional aircraft acquisitions going forward. It will give us the funding to react quickly on market opportunities and build up a portfolio of new and used aircraft on a flexible basis for our customers” comments Anne-Bart Tieleman, CEO. “These four banks further augment the strong group of financiers and investors that are supporting TrueNoord’s dynamic growth trajectory.”
At this week’s ISTAT EMEA 2022 conference in Marrakech, Tieleman comments that TrueNoord’s specialism in providing regional aircraft in the 50–150 seat class to its customers has been well received by operators seeking economical solutions over the past two years of fluctuating passenger demand. “Smaller, modern aircraft with good range capabilities have sustained important route networks with great flexibility. Our full portfolio of 60 aircraft is currently on lease and we are seeing significant fleet expansion worldwide. We plan to capitalise upon this as we continue to pursue our disciplined growth strategy.”
The past twelve months has seen substantial growth of TrueNoord’s portfolio and recently its global footprint has expanded to encompass Porter Airlines in Canada, Sky High in the Caribbean, CEM Air in South Africa, Alliance in India and Cobham in Australia. According to Julien Millet, CFO, the team is working on a multiplicity of opportunities with regional aircraft operators which will be supported by this new warehouse facility. “We are very proud to have earned such healthy financier confidence and pleased to further extend our relationship with all four banks in this warehouse facility. Their continued confidence in TrueNoord’s balanced growth plan and superior servicing capabilities is extremely rewarding for our team, customers, and stakeholders.”
Embraer has completed the purchase agreement for multiple new E195-E2 aircraft from Embraer.
The next generation jets will join Porter Airlines’ growing fleet on a long-term operating lease. All six aircraft are to be delivered in 2023 and are part of Porter’s first firm E2 order for 30 E195-E2s, confirmed in 2021.
Garry Topp, TrueNoord Sales Director – Americas, explains that Porter operating E2 aircraft in North America is an inspiring collaboration. “Porter is deeply experienced and know their market well, having successfully operated for more than 15 years. They are blending this experience with great enthusiasm, innovation and creativity to build a successful business around the new E195-E2. This aircraft has the potential to be disruptive to the market and Porter understand the opportunity this creates. They are a great customer to work with and we are proud to be supporting their expansion plans in the region.”
“The Embraer E2 is an excellent long-term asset. It delivers next-generation fuel efficiency and long-range possibilities to the market, while being simple for airlines to bring into service and operate” continues Topp. “Porter has exciting plans to exploit the efficiency and long-range capabilities of the type to provide really interesting new travel options for passengers in Canada and across North America.”
Based primarily at Toronto Pearson International Airport, Porter will fly the new E2 aircraft to key destinations across Canada and the United States, with routes connecting to US south and west coast destinations. Jeffrey Brown, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Porter Airlines, comments on the positive partnership with TrueNoord and how he looks forward to a long-term relationship between the two companies. “The growth plans that Porter is pursuing require support from dedicated partners. TrueNoord fits this mould, not simply from a financial perspective, but also by understanding our vision and how we intend to use the E195-E2 to help introduce a new level of service throughout North America.”
Mark Neely, VP Sales and Marketing, North America, Embraer Commercial Aviation, says, “TrueNoord has been a valued partner for many years, we appreciate their continued confidence in our aircraft as we both continue to grow the regional aviation sector. Porter is a progressive, forward-looking airline and we are proud that our next generation, E2 jets are their aircraft of choice as they embark on this exciting new chapter.” As of July 2022 Porter had 50 firm commitments for the E195-E2, and 50 purchase rights.
“TrueNoord has grown to become a significant player in the Embraer leasing market” adds Topp. “We have great relationships with our colleagues at Embraer around the world and appreciate their ongoing support as we grow our portfolio of aircraft. They are an important partner to our business and we enjoy working with their professional team.”
Anne-Bart Tieleman, TrueNoord CEO, concludes, “This transaction demonstrates our desire to develop the business in a measured way, building long-term relationships with high-quality operators, such as Porter Airlines. We are excited about the consistent and steady growth we are making across all of the Americas, it is a diverse and dynamic part of the global aviation market and presents significant opportunities. TrueNoord is well placed to expand further in this important region.”