Willis Lease Finance Corporation is a provider of aviation services, specializing in leasing spare commercial aircraft engines and other aircraft-related equipment to commercial airlines, aircraft engine manufacturers, and maintenance, repair, and overhaul facilities worldwide.
Willis Lease was launched more than 30 years ago by Charles F. Willis, the first entrepreneur to venture into the then-unheard-of business of jet engine leasing. An industry leader with a trusted reputation, Willis Lease provides commercial jet engines to passenger airlines, air cargo carriers and maintenance and repair organizations through short-term and long-term operating leases. We have successfully purchased, leased and sold more engines in more countries over a longer period of time than any independent competitor. We have one of the largest and most diverse engine portfolios in the industry, surpassing $1 billion in total assets, and focus on the most popular commercial jet aircraft engines used on the leading Airbus and Boeing aircraft.
Strong capital availability, excellent customer relationships, orders with major manufacturers, customer-driven engine pooling, and a solid management team is our recipe for success.
Willis Lease provides both short-term operating leases and sale/leaseback financing. Operating leases differ from finance or capital leases in that the lessor assumes the risks and benefits associated with owning the asset. A lessee will show the lease payment as an expense on their income statement, while the lessor depreciates the asset and shows a gain or loss when the asset is sold. Operating leases are short-term, typically less than 75% of the anticipated useful life of the asset, and provide cash flow benefits compared to finance leases. In a sale/leaseback transaction, an asset is sold to a leasing firm and then immediately leased back to the seller. This type of lease is usually long-term and is employed to free up capital for operations and transfer the residual value risk to the lessor.
The majority of our competition consists of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that, in most cases, deal only with their own products. Willis Lease offers one of the broadest product lines in the industry, including engine makes and models of all major manufacturers, short-, medium-, and long-term leases, engine pools, sale leasebacks, forward purchases, finance leases, and engine management. In addition, we purchase and sell equipment for both our own portfolio and for the customers we represent.
As a pioneer in establishing cooperative engine sharing pools, our North American CFM56-7B Engine Sharing Pool provides services for more than 600 aircraft and continues to be the market leader. North American Pool members include Alaska Airlines (NYSE: ALK), American Airlines (NYSE: AMR), Delta Airlines (NYSE: DAL), Enerjet, (a Canadian aircraft operator), Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV), West Jet (TSX: WJA) and AirTran covering CFM56-7B engines used to power Boeing 737 NG aircraft.
In June 2009, Willis Lease was added to the Russell 2000 Index, a subset of the Russell 3000 Index, which are both widely used by professional money managers as benchmarks for investment strategies. In July 2009, Willis Lease was ranked 19th on “America’s 100 Fastest Growing Small Public Companies” by Fortune Small Business magazine.
Willis Lease is headquartered in Novato, California, with regional representatives serving the major aviation hubs of the world.
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