APOC Aviation’s specialist landing gear division has concluded its first landing gear deal with Avion Express Malta, the Maltese based ACMI and aircraft leasing operator. A freshly overhauled A321-200 from stock replaced their ran-out gear which APOC took in exchange. With several A320 family and B737NG assets already out on lease, or in active exchange programmes, the Company worked closely with Avion Express Malta to finalise the deal.
Karolis Jurkevicius, VP Landing Gear Trading – APOC Aviation said: “Avion Express Malta has been a significant customer for APOC’s comprehensive narrow body parts service, so we’re particularly pleased to see them join a growing number of discreet LDG customers across leading airlines and MROs worldwide that are using our specialist service. Finding ways to support operators at this time is vital and if, through our investments, we can help them turn their opportunities into sustainable business for the future, then we’ve done our job.”
Jurkevicius explains that long term relationships and multiple planning steps shaped the Company’s ability to deliver the best option to Avion Express Malta. “About a year ago we discussed their forthcoming requirements for LDGs end 2020/early 2021, and we developed a good understanding of how APOC could tailor our flexible services for their operation. So pre-COVID we knew what would be needed and due to APOC’s careful business strategy we had the financial ability to source the right assets and have them ready to go in overhauled condition.”
Marko Jalmari Halla, Technical Director at Avion Express Malta adds, “To be able to benefit from APOC Aviation’s specialist experience is extremely important because we want to concentrate on what we are good at, which is operating the aircraft. Apart from their focus on fresh, young LDG assets with low cycles, they have a great global network for repairs, and they can be extremely flexible regarding the structure of a deal. On this occasion it was best for us to exchange the LDG and we were 100% confident that their technical experts would manage the airworthiness certification quickly to minimise TAT.”
According to Jurkevicius, creating a dedicated landing gear division was a logical step for APOC’s expanding asset portfolio. It offers repair management as a service to operators and has a portfolio of audited LDG repair shops with whom it manages repairs as needed. It also works with third-party experts to tear down LDGs for piece parts for sale, or to support customers’ on-going overhaul projects. “The lessee can place our LDGs on lease in workshops of their choice – they are not tied into repair contracts as part of the lease agreement. Our customers like this flexibility which is unusual in the marketplace” he says.
Currently around 40% of APOC’s LDG stock is leased, 30% is allocated to exchange programmes and the remaining 30% is set up for additional lease opportunities, part-out projects and sales. “We’re looking to purchase prime LDGs for stock and plan to increase our inventory by about 50% over the next 6 months” remarks Jurkevicius. “Identifying suitable assets is always challenging, however we do consider LDGs with leases attached if they fit with our asset criteria of the highest quality.”