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26 Aircraft Leasing Companies Register at Gift City in the last three years

Over the last three years, IFSC Gift City has witnessed registrations of 26 aircraft leasing companies, overseeing more than 129 transactions, according to insiders.

Following the International Financial Services Centre Authority’s (IFSCA) framework release for aircraft leasing in India in February 2021, around 26 such companies have established their operations at this location, driving heightened activity in this sector. An official disclosed that in the last three months alone, three entities received approvals to establish aircraft leasing units at Gift City.

Air India was the first Indian commercial airline to set up base in Gift City, followed by IndiGo. The Adani Group has also initiated the process but awaits formal approval.

Sources revealed that over 129 aviation assets have been leased via Gift City, encompassing 18 aircraft, 55 engines, and 56 ground support units.

Air India has already leased its inaugural A350 from Gift City through the leasing firm AI Fleet Services IFSC Ltd, projected to cost INR 7,253 crore under a financial lease agreement. IndiGo also entered the aircraft leasing sector, announcing an estimated investment of approximately INR 11,500 crore in the IFSC aircraft leasing segment.

Despite the burgeoning progress, challenges persist. Of the 26 established aircraft leasing firms, only 10 have engaged in actual transactions, exposing existing gaps.

An industry insider at IFSC highlighted India’s lack of a conducive ecosystem and raised concerns regarding aircraft repossession norms—a sentiment echoed in the PWC report. It stressed the critical need to develop this business line in India’s IFSC, considering the soaring demand for aircraft from airlines and the significant growth in passenger traffic, noting aircraft leasing’s lucrative position in the aviation supply chain. (Source: The Business Line)

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