BOC Aviation Set to Lease Planes to Tata-Singapore Air Venture

BOC Aviation Pte said it is in final talks to lease 20 Airbus Group NV A320 aircraft to a new Indian airline founded by Singapore Airlines Ltd. (SIA) and Tata Group.

“We are on schedule in terms of timing,” BOC Aviation’s Chief Executive Officer Robert Martin said in an interview in Singapore today. “I can say that planes that we have are ready to go in the fourth quarter.”

The venture between Singapore Air and Mumbai-based Tata plans to start a full-service carrier to tap a surge in travel demand in the world’s second-most populous nation. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government in 2012 permitted foreign airlines to buy as much as 49 percent in local carriers, reversing a decade-old ban on such investments.

The new airline, which has won approval from India’s Foreign Investment Promotion Board, will lease the aircraft for 12 years, Sanjay Singh, a New Delhi-based spokesman for the venture, said last month. Tata will hold 51 percent and Singapore Air the rest in the New Delhi-based airline.

BOC Aviation is the Singapore-based aircraft-leasing unit of Bank of China Ltd. (3988)

“Long term potential in India is good and those with deep pockets will win,” Martin said.

BOC Aviation has a portfolio of 226 owned and managed aircraft operated by airlines worldwide and another 100 planes on order, according to its website. The company’s fleet of owned aircraft has an average age of less than four years.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anurag Kotoky in Singapore at akotoky@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anand Krishnamoorthy at anandk@bloomberg.net

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