Aircastle Limited acquires, leases and sells commercial jet aircraft to airlines throughout the world. As of March 31, 2015, Aircastle's aircraft portfolio consisted of 152 aircraft leased to 54 customers located in 34 countries.
• Pursuing a disciplined and differentiated investment strategy. In our view, aircraft values change in different ways over time. As a consequence, we carefully evaluate investments across different aircraft models, ages, lessees and acquisition sources and re-evaluate these choices periodically as market conditions and relative investment values change. We believe the financing flexibility offered through unsecured debt and our team’s experience with a wide range of asset types enables our value oriented strategy and provides us with a competitive advantage for many investment opportunities.
• Originating investments from many different sources across the globe. Our strategy is to seek out worthwhile investments broadly leveraging our team’s wide range of contacts around the world. We utilize a multi-channel approach to sourcing acquisitions and have purchased aircraft from a large number of airlines, lessors, original equipment manufacturers, lenders and other aircraft owners. Since our formation in 2004, we have acquired aircraft from more than 70 different sellers.
• Leveraging our strategic relationships. We intend to capture the benefits provided through the extensive global contacts and relationships maintained by Marubeni Corporation, which is both our biggest shareholder and one of the largest Japanese trading companies. Our joint venture with Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan provides us with an opportunity to pursue larger transactions and to manage portfolio concentrations.
• Maintaining efficient access to capital from a wide range of sources while targeting an investment grade credit rating. We believe the aircraft investment market is subject to forces related to the business cycle and our strategy is to increase our purchase activity when prices are low and to emphasize asset sales when competition for assets is high. In order to implement this approach, we believe maintaining access to a wide variety of financing sources over the business cycle is very important. Our strategy is to improve our corporate credit ratings to an investment grade level by maintaining strong portfolio and capital structure metrics while achieving a critical size through accretive growth. We believe improving our credit rating will not only reduce our borrowing costs but also facilitate more reliable access to debt capital throughout the business cycle.
• Selling assets when attractive opportunities arise and for portfolio management purposes. We pursue asset sales, as opportunities arise over the course of the business cycle, with the aim of realizing profits and reinvesting proceeds where more accretive investments are available. We also use asset sales for portfolio management purposes, such as reducing lessee specific concentrations and lowering residual value exposures to certain aircraft types, and as an exit from investments when a sale or part-out would provide the greatest expected cash flow for us.
• Capturing the value of our efficient operating platform and strong operating track record. We believe our team's capabilities in the global aircraft leasing market place us in a favorable position to source and manage new income-generating activities. We intend to continue to focus our efforts in areas where we believe we have competitive advantages, including new direct investments as well as ventures with strategic business partners.
• Intending to pay quarterly dividends to our shareholders based on the Company’s sustainable earnings levels. We have provided a regular return of capital of shareholders in the form of dividends. On February 17, 2015, our Board of Directors declared its 36th quarterly dividend payment. Since the beginning of 2011 our quarterly dividend has doubled.