Aircraft finance on cloud nine as new money pours in

Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:18pm EST
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* Ample funding dominates aircraft finance gathering

* Pension funds, private placements among new sources

* Airlines urged to refinance to lock in cheap rates

* Jitters increase over slowdown in emerging markets

By Victoria Bryan and Tim Hepher

DUBLIN, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Crisis, what crisis? The good times are rolling in the aircraft finance industry as yield-hungry investors gamble on growing demand for air travel, banishing recent jitters over funding.

Despite new concerns over emerging markets that mounted on Friday, an annual gathering in Dublin this week attracted record numbers of lawyers, bankers and lessors who keep the $100 billion a year jetliner industry aloft with funding.

Just a few years ago, tougher capital regulations triggered fears that airlines would be unable to find the funds needed to pay for record numbers of aircraft being ordered from Airbus and Boeing, as European banks scaled back.

But Asian banks helped fill the void and financiers in Ireland, the world's leading hub for aviation finance, said new money was pouring into the promising sector in their wake.   Continued...