Aircraft leasing company Air Lease Corporation (ALC) has commenced its portfolio divestment of 19 aircraft to a newly formed entity Thunderbolt III Aircraft Lease (Thunderbolt III).

The portfolio consists of a combination of narrow-body and wide-body jet aircraft.

The weighted average age of the aircraft, which were leased to 18 lessees in 15 countries, is 9.7 years as of 31 August.

ALC and its Irish affiliate ALC Aircraft have agreed to serve as the servicers of the aircraft while the former is acting as portfolio manager.

The majority of the transaction is expected to be completed during the fourth quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of next year.

In relation to the deal, Thunderbolt III has also completed its equity and debt financing transactions.

The Thunderbolt III structure included two series of Fixed Rate Notes and Equity Certificates. ALC bought around 5% of the Equity Certificates.

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ALC executive vice-president and chief financial officer Gregory Willis said: “We are pleased to announce the closing of Thunderbolt III.

“This transaction allows ALC to efficiently sell 19 aircraft while retaining the customer relationships through our continued management of these aircraft. I would like to thank our team and the Thunderbolt III investors for making this a successful transaction.”

Hughes Hubbard & Reed served as US counsel to ALC while Walkers and A&L Goodbody acted as Cayman Islands counsel and Irish counsel, respectively.

Last month, Air Lease Corporation entered long-term lease agreements with China Airlines (Taiwan) for six new Airbus A321neo aircraft.

ALC will deliver the aircraft between 2021 through 2022.