American investment company KKR has announced a $1bn capital commitment to create a portfolio of leased commercial aircraft, in partnership with aircraft leasing company Altavair AirFinance.

It will also purchase a 50% stake in Altavair AirFinance as part of the long-term partnership.

KKR member Dan Pietrzak said: “The decades-long proven track record that Altavair brings to this partnership is impressive and it is exactly the kind of company we were looking for when we sought out continued investment in aviation.”

KKR member and North American Infrastructure head Brandon Freiman said: “Commercial aircraft are critical, long-lived assets that we’ve been interested in pursuing for several years.

“We are excited to partner with Altavair’s world-class management team to invest in the global aviation market.”

“Commercial aircraft are critical, long-lived assets that we’ve been interested in pursuing for several years.”

KKR has primarily made the $1bn capital commitment from its credit and infrastructure funds, which may progressively be supplemented with additional commitments.

Under the terms of the agreement, the aircraft will be purchased over the next several years and Altavair will act as the KKR’s partner for aircraft leasing investments.

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Initial investment made by KKR will be used to buy six cargo aircraft, which will be given on a long-term lease to a group of airline counterparties.

Altavair CEO Steve Rimmer said: “We are extremely happy to have found a partner in KKR that shares our vision for investing in the aircraft leasing and financing sector.

“The tremendous support and expertise offered by KKR alongside its exceptional global investor base will allow Altavair to fully participate in this growing market and provide a solid foundation for Altavair’s future growth and success.”

Established in 2003, Altavair has implemented multiple commercial aviation leasing and finance strategies on behalf of a range of domestic and international institutional, insurance and private investors.

According to Altavair’s website, its current portfolio of passenger and all-cargo aircraft includes four Boeing 747-400ERFs and two Boeing 777Fs.