Aircastle Limited
Aircastle LTD (Form: 10-K, Received: 02/19/2015 17:09:09)
Table of Contents


 
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
þ
Annual report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
For the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2014
or
¨
Transition report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
For the transition period from                      to                     
Commission file number 001-32959
AIRCASTLE LIMITED
(Exact name of Registrant as Specified in its Charter)
Bermuda
 
98-0444035
(State or other Jurisdiction of
Incorporation or organization)
 
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)
300 First Stamford Place, 5th Floor, Stamford, Connecticut 06902
(Address of Principal Executive Offices)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code:     (203) 504-1020
______________________________________  
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
       Title of Each Class                            
 
Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered                            
Common Shares, par value $.01 per share
 
New York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:    None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.     Yes   þ     No   ¨
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    Yes   ¨     No   þ
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes   þ     No   ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Website, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).    Yes   þ     No   ¨
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.     ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer
þ
Accelerated filer
¨
Non-accelerated filer
¨    (Do not check if a smaller reporting company)
Smaller reporting company
¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).    Yes   ¨     No   þ
The aggregate market value of the Registrant’s Common Shares based upon the closing price on the New York Stock Exchange on June 30, 2014 (the last business day of registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter), beneficially owned by non-affiliates of the Registrant was approximately $964.3 million. For purposes of the foregoing calculation, which is required by Form 10-K, the Registrant has included in the shares owned by affiliates those shares owned by directors and executive officers and shareholders owning 10% or more of the outstanding common shares of the Registrant, and such inclusion shall not be construed as an admission that any such person is an affiliate for any purpose.
As of February 6, 2015 , there were 80,949,815 outstanding shares of the registrant’s common shares, par value $0.01 per share.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
                Documents of Which Portions                
                Are Incorporated by Reference                
 
            Parts of Form 10-K into Which Portion            
            Of Documents Are Incorporated            
Proxy Statement for Aircastle Limited
 
Part III
2014 Annual General Meeting of Shareholders
 
(Items 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14)
 


Table of Contents


TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
 
 
Page  
PART I
 
 
 
 
Item 1.
 
 
 
Item 1A.
 
 
 
Item 1B.
 
 
 
Item 2.
 
 
 
Item 3.
 
 
 
Item 4.
 
 
PART II
 
 
 
 
Item 5.
 
 
 
Item 6.
 
 
 
Item 7.
 
 
 
Item 7A.
 
 
 
Item 8.
 
 
 
Item 9.
 
 
 
Item 9A.
 
 
 
Item 9B.
 
 
PART III
 
 
 
 
Item 10.
 
 
 
Item 11.
 
 
 
Item 12.
 
 
 
Item 13.
 
 
 
Item 14.
 
 
PART IV
 
 
 
 
Item 15.
 
 


Table of Contents


SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT UNDER THE
PRIVATE SECURITIES LITIGATION REFORM ACT OF 1995
Certain items in this Annual Report on Form 10-K (this “report”), and other information we provide from time to time, may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 including, but not necessarily limited to, statements relating to our ability to acquire, sell, lease or finance aircraft, raise capital, pay dividends, and increase revenues, earnings, EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted Net Income and the global aviation industry and aircraft leasing sector. Words such as “anticipates,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “projects,” “believes,” “may,” “will,” “would,” “could,” “should,” “seeks,” “estimates” and variations on these words and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These statements are based on our historical performance and that of our subsidiaries and on our current plans, estimates and expectations and are subject to a number of factors that could lead to actual results materially different from those described in the forward-looking statements; Aircastle can give no assurance that its expectations will be attained. Accordingly, you should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements contained in this report. Factors that could have a material adverse effect on our operations and future prospects or that could cause actual results to differ materially from Aircastle's expectations include, but are not limited to, capital markets disruption or volatility which could adversely affect our continued ability to obtain additional capital to finance new investments or our working capital needs; government fiscal or tax policies, general economic and business conditions or other factors affecting demand for aircraft or aircraft values and lease rates; our continued ability to obtain favorable tax treatment in Bermuda, Ireland and other jurisdictions; our ability to pay dividends; high or volatile fuel prices, lack of access to capital, reduced load factors and/or reduced yields, operational disruptions caused by political unrest and other factors affecting the creditworthiness of our airline customers and their ability to continue to perform their obligations under our leases, and other risks detailed from time to time in Aircastle's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), including as described in Item 1A. “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this report. In addition, new risks and uncertainties emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for Aircastle to predict or assess the impact of every factor that may cause its actual results to differ from those contained in any forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this report. Aircastle expressly disclaims any obligation to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in its expectations with regard thereto or change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any statement is based.
WEBSITE AND ACCESS TO COMPANY’S REPORTS
The Company’s Internet website can be found at www.aircastle.com. Our annual reports on Forms 10-K, quarterly reports on Forms 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act are available free of charge through our website under “Investors — SEC Filings” as soon as reasonably practicable after they are electronically filed with, or furnished to, the SEC.
Statements and information concerning our status as a Passive Foreign Investment Company (“PFIC”) for U.S. taxpayers are also available free of charge through our website under “Investors — SEC Filings”.
Our Corporate Governance Guidelines, Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, and Board of Directors committee charters (including the charters of the Audit Committee, Compensation Committee, and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee) are available free of charge through our website under “Investors — Corporate Governance”. In addition, our Code of Ethics for the Chief Executive and Senior Financial Officers, which applies to our Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Accounting Officer, Treasurer and Controller, is available in print, free of charge, to any shareholder upon request to Investor Relations, Aircastle Limited, c/o Aircastle Advisor LLC, 300 First Stamford Place, 5th Floor, Stamford, Connecticut 06902.
The information on the Company’s website is not part of, or incorporated by reference, into this report, or any other report we file with, or furnish to, the SEC.


Table of Contents


PART I.
ITEM 1. BUSINESS
Unless the context suggests otherwise, references in this report to “Aircastle,” the “Company,” “we,” “us,” or “our” refer to Aircastle Limited and its subsidiaries. References in this report to “AL” refer only to Aircastle Limited. References in this report to “Aircastle Bermuda” refer to Aircastle Holding Corporation Limited and its subsidiaries. Throughout this report, when we refer to our aircraft, we include aircraft that we have transferred into grantor trusts or similar entities for purposes of financing such assets through securitizations and term financings. These grantor trusts or similar entities are consolidated for purposes of our financial statements. All amounts in this report are expressed in U.S. dollars and the financial statements have been prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“US GAAP”).
We acquire, lease, and sell commercial jet aircraft with large, global operator bases and long useful lives. As of December 31, 2014, our aircraft portfolio consisted of 148 aircraft leased to 54 lessees located in 34 countries. Our aircraft fleet is managed by an experienced team based in the United States, Ireland and Singapore. Typically, our aircraft are subject to net leases whereby the lessee is generally responsible for maintaining the aircraft and paying operational, maintenance and insurance costs arising during the term of the lease. We also may occasionally make investments in other aviation assets, including debt investments secured by commercial jet aircraft. As of December 31, 2014 , the net book value of our flight equipment and finance lease aircraft was $5.69 billion compared to $5.19 billion at the end of 2013. Our revenues and net income for the year ended December 31, 2014 were $818.6 million and $100.8 million respectively, and for the fourth quarter 2014 were $238.3 million and $72.8 million , respectively.
Growth in commercial air traffic is broadly correlated with world economic activity, and has been expanding at a rate one to two times the rate of global GDP growth. The expansion of air travel has driven a rise in the world aircraft fleet. There are currently more than 18,000 commercial mainline passenger and freighter aircraft in operation worldwide. This fleet is expected to continue expanding at an average annual rate of three to five percent per annum over the next 20 years. In addition, aircraft leasing companies own an increasing share of the world’s commercial jet aircraft, and now account for approximately 40% of this fleet.
Notwithstanding the sector’s long-term growth, the aviation markets have been, and are expected to remain, subject to economic variability on a global basis and regional basis, as well as to changes in macroeconomic relations such as fuel price levels and exchange rates. The industry is susceptible to external shocks, such as regional conflicts, terrorist events and to disruptions caused by severe weather events and other natural phenomena. Mitigating these risks is the portability of the assets, allowing aircraft to be redeployed in locations where demand is higher.
Air traffic data for 2014 showed a continued strong trend in passenger market growth. Air cargo traffic showed slow improvement as world trade and economic growth increased.  According to the International Air Transport Association, during 2014 global passenger traffic increased by 5.9% and air cargo traffic increased by 4.5% as compared to the same period in 2013.  Passenger traffic growth was strong, driven by rising economic growth and business confidence.  The air cargo market, which is more sensitive than the passenger sector to economic conditions, appears to have stabilized after weak performances between 2011 and 2013. The air cargo market continues to be hampered by persistent overcapacity.
There are significant regional variations in both passenger and air cargo demand. Emerging market economies have been experiencing significant increases in air traffic, driven by rising levels of per capita air travel. Air traffic in other regions is being driven by long-term structural changes in global traffic flows, particularly the growth in long-haul "hub and spoke" traffic flowing through the Persian Gulf. In contrast, mature markets such as North America and Western Europe are likely to grow more slowly in tandem with their economies. Finally, airlines operating in areas with political instability or where there are geopolitical conflicts, such as Russia, have seen more modest growth and their outlook is more uncertain. Periodic health concerns, such as the recent Ebola virus outbreak, may also play a role in the near-term development of air traffic in certain regions. However, in aggregate, we believe that passenger and cargo traffic will likely increase over time, and as a result, we expect demand for modern, fuel efficient aircraft will continue to remain strong over the long-term.
Capital availability for aircraft has varied over time, and we consider this variability to be a basic characteristic of our business. However, both debt and equity markets improved globally over the past several years with the recovery from the recent global financial crisis. Strong U.S. debt capital markets conditions benefited certain borrowers by permitting access to financing at historic lows while higher fees have driven down export credit agency ("ECA") demand. Commercial bank debt continues to play a critical role in the air finance market with traditional aviation lenders, along with a number of new entrants, providing capacity to top tier airlines and lessors, although we believe regulatory pressures have limited the extent

1

Table of Contents


of the bank market's recovery. We believe these market forces should generate attractive new investment and trading opportunities upon which we are well placed to capitalize given our access to the U.S. capital markets. Over the longer term, our strategy is to achieve an investment grade credit rating, which we believe will reduce our borrowing costs and enable more reliable access to debt capital throughout the business cycle.
We intend to pay quarterly dividends to our shareholders based on the Company’s sustainable earnings levels; however, our ability to pay quarterly dividends will depend upon many factors, including those described in Item 1A. “Risk Factors”, and elsewhere in this report. Through the fourth quarter of 2014, the Company has paid dividends in 34 consecutive quarters. The table below is a summary of our recent quarterly dividend history. These dividends may not be indicative of the amount of any future dividends. 
Declaration Date
 
Dividend per Common Share
 
Aggregate
Dividend
Amount
 
Record Date
 
Payment Date
 
 
 
 
(Dollars in Thousands)
 
 
 
 
February 17, 2012
 
$
0.150

 
$
10,865

 
February 29, 2012
 
March 15, 2012
May 2, 2012
 
$
0.150

 
$
10,847

 
May 31, 2012
 
June 15, 2012
August 1, 2012
 
$
0.150

 
$
10,464

 
August 31, 2012
 
September 14, 2012
November 5, 2012
 
$
0.165

 
$
11,493

 
November 30, 2012
 
December 14, 2012
February 18, 2013
 
$
0.165

 
$
11,268

 
March 4, 2013
 
March 15, 2013
May 1, 2013
 
$
0.165

 
$
11,297

 
May 31, 2013
 
June 14, 2013
August 2, 2013
 
$
0.165

 
$
13,330

 
August 30, 2013
 
September 13, 2013
October 29, 2013
 
$
0.200

 
$
16,163

 
November 29, 2013
 
December 13, 2013
February 21, 2014
 
$
0.200

 
$
16,201

 
March 7, 2014
 
March 14, 2014
May 5, 2014
 
$
0.200

 
$
16,202

 
May 30, 2014
 
June 13, 2014
July 28, 2014
 
$
0.200

 
$
16,201

 
August 29, 2014
 
September 12, 2014
October 31, 2014
 
$
0.220

 
$
17,817

 
November 28, 2014
 
December 15, 2014
Competitive Strengths
We believe that the following competitive strengths will allow us to capitalize on future growth opportunities in the global aviation industry:
Flexible, disciplined acquisition approach and broad investment sourcing network.  We evaluate the risk and return of any potential acquisition first as a discrete investment and then from a portfolio management perspective. To evaluate potential acquisitions, we employ a rigorous due diligence process focused on (i) cash flow generation with careful consideration of macro trends, industry cyclicality and product life cycles; (ii) aircraft specifications and maintenance condition; (iii) lessee credit worthiness and the local jurisdiction’s rules for enforcing a lessor’s rights; and (iv) other legal and tax implications. We source our acquisitions through well-established relationships with airlines, other aircraft lessors, financial institutions and other aircraft owners. Since our formation in 2004, we have built our aircraft portfolio through more than 115 transactions with more than 70 counterparties.
Strong capital raising track record and access to a wide range of financing sources.   Aircastle is a publicly listed company and our shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange. Since our inception in late 2004, we have raised approximately $1.7 billion in equity capital from private and public investors as well as approximately $11.2 billion in debt capital for both growth and refinancing purposes through export credit agency-backed debt, commercial bank debt, the aircraft securitization markets and the unsecured bond market. This debt capital has been sourced from a wide variety of providers demonstrating our funding expertise and flexibility in adapting to changing capital markets conditions. Additionally, we have expanded our shareholder base to include two long-term oriented international investors, Marubeni Corporation ("Marubeni") and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan ("Teachers' ").
Our capital structure is long-dated and provides investment flexibility.  Our aircraft are currently financed under secured and unsecured debt financings with a weighted average debt maturity of 4.2 years, thereby limiting our near-term financial markets exposure on our owned aircraft portfolio. As such, we are free to deploy our capital base flexibly to take advantage of what we anticipate will be a more attractive investment environment. We also believe that our access to the unsecured bond market and our recently increased unsecured revolving line of credit,

2

Table of Contents


which are enabled by our large unencumbered asset base, allow us to pursue a flexible and opportunistic investment strategy.
Experienced management team with significant expertise.   Our management team has significant experience in the acquisition, leasing, financing, technical management, restructuring/repossession and sale of aviation assets. Additionally, each member of our executive management team has more than 20 years of relevant experience. Our experience enables us to access a wide array of placement opportunities throughout the world and also pursue efficiently a broad range of potential investments and sales opportunities in the global aviation industry. With extensive industry contacts and relationships worldwide, we believe our management team is highly qualified to manage and grow our aircraft portfolio and to address our long-term capital needs.
Significant experience in successfully selling aircraft throughout their life cycle. Since our formation, we sold 108 aircraft with a gross purchase price in excess of $2.5 billion. These sales generated net gains of approximately $133 million and have involved a wide range of aircraft types and buyers. In addition to sales of newer aircraft, we also sold 71 aircraft that were 15 or more years old at the time of sale, with many of these being sold on an end-of-life, part-out disposition basis, where the airframe and engines may be sold to different buyers. We believe this sales experience with older aircraft is an essential portfolio management skill.
Diversified portfolio of modern aircraft.     We have a portfolio of modern aircraft that is diversified with respect to lessees, geographic markets, lease maturities and aircraft types. As of December 31, 2014 , our aircraft portfolio consisted of 148 aircraft comprising a variety of passenger and freighter aircraft types that were leased to 54 lessees located in 34 countries. Our lease expirations are well dispersed, with a weighted average remaining lease term of 5.4  years as of December 31, 2014 . Over the next two years, only 9% of our fleet by net book value has scheduled lease expirations, after taking into account lease commitments. This provides the company with a long-dated base of contracted revenues. We believe our focus on portfolio diversification reduces the risks associated with individual lessee defaults and adverse geopolitical or economic issues, and results in generally predictable cash flows.
Global and scalable business platform.     We operate through offices in the United States, Ireland and Singapore, using a modern asset management system designed specifically for aircraft operating lessors and capable of handling a significantly larger aircraft portfolio. We believe that our facilities, systems and personnel currently in place are capable of supporting an increase in our revenue base and asset base without a proportional increase in overhead costs.
Business Strategy
The overall financing environment has improved in recent years and aircraft owners generally have benefited from the low interest rate environment. Particularly strong conditions in the debt capital markets have provided select borrowers including Aircastle with access to attractively priced, flexible financing providing a competitive advantage over airlines and lessors that lack similar access. Moreover, traditional asset-based financing for aircraft from commercial banks remains limited, particularly for older aircraft.
We plan to grow our business and profits over the long-term by continuing to employ the following elements of our fundamental business strategy:
Pursuing a disciplined, "value oriented" investment strategy. In our view, the relative values of different aircraft investments change over time. As a consequence, we maintain a value oriented investment strategy to seek out the best risk-adjusted return opportunities across the commercial jet market. To this end, 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 enables our value oriented strategy and provides us with a competitive advantage for many investment opportunities. We believe this approach is differentiated among the larger aircraft leasing companies.
Investing in commercial jet aircraft and other aviation assets when attractively priced opportunities and cost effective financing are available. We believe the large and growing aircraft market, together with ongoing fleet replacements, will provide significant acquisition opportunities. We regularly evaluate potential aircraft acquisitions and expect to continue our investment program through additional purchases when attractively priced opportunities and cost effective financing are available.
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

3

Table of Contents


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. We intend to do so 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 enable 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 also to exit from investments when a sale or part-out would provide the greatest expected cash flow for us.
Leveraging 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. However our ability to pay quarterly dividends will depend upon many factors, including those as described in Item 1A. “Risk Factors”, and elsewhere in this report. On October 31, 2014 , our board of directors declared a regular quarterly dividend of $0.22 per common share, or an aggregate of $17.8 million for the three months ended December 31, 2014, which was paid on December 15, 2014 to holders of record on November 28, 2014 . These dividends may not be indicative of the amount of any future dividends.

We also believe our team’s capabilities in the global aircraft leasing market place us in a favorable position to explore new income-generating activities as capital becomes available for such activities. We intend to continue to focus our efforts on investment opportunities in areas where we believe we have competitive advantages and on transactions that offer attractive risk/return profiles after taking into consideration available financing options. In any case, there can be no assurance that we will be able to access capital on a cost-effective basis, and a failure to do so could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.
Acquisitions and Sales
We originate acquisitions and sales through well-established relationships with airlines, other aircraft lessors, financial institutions and brokers, as well as other sources. We believe that sourcing such transactions both globally and through multiple channels provides for a broad and relatively consistent set of opportunities.
Our objective is to develop and maintain a diverse and stable operating lease portfolio. We review our operating lease portfolio periodically to sell aircraft opportunistically, to manage our portfolio diversification and to exit from aircraft investments when we believe that selling will achieve the maximum expected cash flow rather than reinvesting in and re-leasing the aircraft while also managing our exposure to older technology aircraft. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Overview — Acquisitions and Sales.”
We have an experienced acquisitions and sales team based in Stamford, Connecticut; Dublin, Ireland and Singapore that maintains strong relationships with a wide variety of market participants throughout the world. We believe that our seasoned personnel and extensive industry contacts facilitate our access to acquisition and sales opportunities and that our strong operating track record facilitates our access to debt and equity capital markets.
Potential investments and sales are evaluated by teams comprised of marketing, technical, risk management, financial and legal professionals. These teams consider a variety of aspects before we commit to purchase or sell an aircraft, including price, specification/configuration, age, condition and maintenance history, operating efficiency, lease terms, financial condition and liquidity of the lessee, jurisdiction, industry trends and future redeployment potential and values, among other factors. We believe that utilizing a cross-functional team of experts to consider the investment parameters noted above will help us assess more completely the overall risk and return profile of potential acquisitions and will help us move forward expeditiously on letters of intent and acquisition documentation. Our letters of intent are typically non-binding prior to internal approval, and upon internal approval are binding subject to the fulfillment of customary closing conditions.


4

Table of Contents


Finance
We intend to fund new investments through cash on hand, cash flows from operations, our revolving credit facility and through medium - to longer-term financings on a secured or unsecured basis. We may repay all or a portion of such borrowings from time to time with the net proceeds from subsequent long-term debt financings, additional equity offerings, cash generated from operations and asset sales. Therefore, our ability to execute our business strategy, particularly the acquisition of additional commercial jet aircraft or other aviation assets, depends to a significant degree on our ability to obtain additional debt and equity capital on terms we deem attractive.
See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Liquidity and Capital Resources — Secured Debt Financings” and ”Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Liquidity and Capital Resources — Unsecured Debt Financings.”
Segments
We operate in a single segment.
Aircraft Leases
Nearly all of our aircraft are contracted on operating leases. Under an operating lease, we retain the benefit, and bear the risk, of re-leasing and of the residual value of the aircraft at the end of the lease. Operating leasing can be an attractive alternative to ownership for an airline because leasing increases their fleet flexibility, requires lower capital commitments, and significantly reduces aircraft residual value risks. Under these leases, the lessee agrees to lease an aircraft for a fixed term, although certain of our operating leases allow the lessee the option to extend the lease for an additional term or, in rare cases, terminate the lease prior to its expiration. As a percentage of lease rental revenue for the year ended December 31, 2014, our three largest customers, Martinair (including its affiliate Transavia), LATAM Airlines Group S.A. and South African Airways Pty. Ltd., accounted for 6%, 6% and 5%, respectively.
The scheduled maturities of our aircraft leases by aircraft type grouping currently are as follows, taking into account lease placement and renewal commitments as of February 6, 2015:
 
2015
 
2016
 
2017
 
2018
 
2019
 
2020
 
2021
 
2022
 
2023
 
2024
 
2025
 
2026
 
Off-Lease (1)
 
Total
A319/A320/A321
1

 
3

 
2

 

 
6

 
5

 
8

 
3

 
6

 
6

 

 

 

 
40

A330-200/300

 
3

 
9

 
1

 
2

 
1

 
4

 

 

 
3

 
3

 
1

 

 
27

737-700/800/900ER
3

 
7

 
2

 
4

 
3

 
11

 

 
5

 
2

 
2

 
1

 

 
5

 
45

757-200 / 767-300ER

 

 
6

 
1

 

 

 
1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
8

777-200ER / 300ER

 

 
1

 
2

 
2

 

 
1

 

 

 
1

 
1

 

 

 
8

E195

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
1

 
4

 

 

 

 
5

Freighters
2

 
1

 
4

 
6

 

 

 

 
2

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
15

Total
6

 
14

 
24

 
14

 
13

 
17

 
14

 
10

 
9

 
16

 
5

 
1

 
5

 
148

 
____________
(1) Consists of five Boeing 737-800 aircraft which were returned to us by a Russia-based customer in the first quarter of 2015 pursuant to early termination agreement that were signed in the fourth quarter of 2014.

2015 Lease Expirations and Lease Placements
We began the year with six aircraft having scheduled lease expirations in 2015 that did not already have signed lease commitments in place. These six aircraft, which account for 1.7% of our net book value of flight equipment (including flight equipment held for lease and net investment in finance leases) at December 31, 2014, represent our best estimate for the aircraft which we will need to place on lease or sell this year. We currently expect to sell three of these remaining six aircraft.




5

Table of Contents


2016-2019 Lease Expirations and Lease Placements
Taking into account lease and sale commitments, we currently have the following number of aircraft with lease expirations scheduled in the period 2016-2019 representing the percentage of our net book value of flight equipment (including flight equipment held for lease and net investment in finance leases) at December 31, 2014 specified below:

2016: 14 aircraft, representing 7%;
2017: 24 aircraft, representing 16%;
2018: 14 aircraft, representing 13%; and
2019: 13 aircraft, representing 10%.

Lease Payments and Security.     Each of our leases requires the lessee to pay periodic rentals during the lease term. As of December 31, 2014, rentals on more than 92% of our leases then in effect, as a percentage of net book value, are fixed and do not vary according to changes in interest rates. For the remaining leases, rentals are payable on a floating interest-rate basis. Most lease rentals are payable either monthly or quarterly in advance, and all lease rentals are payable in U.S. dollars.
Under our leases, the lessee must pay operating expenses accrued or payable during the term of the lease, which would normally include maintenance, overhaul, fuel, crew, landing, airport and navigation charges, certain taxes, licenses, consents and approvals, aircraft registration and insurance premiums. Typically, under an operating lease, the lessee is required to make payments for heavy maintenance, overhaul or replacement of certain high-value components of the aircraft. These maintenance payments are based on hours or cycles of utilization or on calendar time, depending upon the component, and are required to be made monthly in arrears or at the end of the lease term. Our determination of whether to permit a lessee to make maintenance payments at the end of the lease term, rather than requiring such payments to be made monthly, depends on a variety of factors, including the creditworthiness of the lessee, the amount of security deposit which may be provided by the lessee and market conditions at the time. If a lessee is making monthly maintenance payments, we would typically be obligated to use the funds paid by the lessee during the lease term to reimburse the lessee for costs they incur for heavy maintenance, overhaul or replacement of certain high-value components, usually shortly following completion of the relevant work. If a lease requires end of lease term maintenance payments, typically the lessee would be required to pay us for its utilization of the aircraft during the lease; however, in some cases, we may owe a net payment to the lessee in the event heavy maintenance is performed and paid for by the lessee during the lease term and the aircraft is returned to us in better condition than at lease inception.
Many of our leases also contain provisions requiring us to pay a portion of the cost of modifications to the aircraft performed by the lessee at its expense, if such modifications are mandated by recognized airworthiness authorities. Typically, these provisions would set a threshold, below which the lessee would not have a right to seek reimbursement and above which we may be required to pay a portion of the cost incurred by the lessee. The lessees are obliged to remove liens on the aircraft other than liens permitted under the leases.
Our leases generally provide that the lessees’ payment obligations are absolute and unconditional under any and all circumstances and require lessees to make payments without withholding payment on account of any amounts the lessor may owe the lessee or any claims the lessee may have against the lessor for any reason, except that under certain of the leases a breach of quiet enjoyment by the lessor may permit a lessee to withhold payment. The leases also generally include an obligation of the lessee to gross up payments under the lease where lease payments are subject to withholding and other taxes, although there may be some limitations to the gross up obligation, including provisions which do not require a lessee to gross up payments if the withholdings arise out of our ownership or tax structure. In addition, changes in law may result in the imposition of withholding and other taxes and charges that are not reimbursable by the lessee under the lease or that cannot be so reimbursed under applicable law. Lessees may fail to reimburse us even when obligated under the lease to do so. Our leases also generally require the lessee to indemnify the lessor for tax liabilities relating to the leases and the aircraft, including in most cases, value added tax and stamp duties, but excluding income tax or its equivalent imposed on the lessor.
Portfolio Risk Management
Our objective is to build and maintain an operating lease portfolio which is balanced and diversified and delivers returns commensurate with risk. We have portfolio concentration objectives to assist in portfolio risk management and highlight areas where action to mitigate risk may be appropriate, and take into account the following:

6

Table of Contents


individual lessee exposures;
geographic concentrations;
aircraft type concentrations;
portfolio credit quality distribution; and
lease maturity distribution.

We have a risk management team which undertakes detailed credit due diligence on lessees when aircraft are being acquired with a lease already in place and for placement of aircraft with new lessees following lease expiration or termination.
Lease Management and Remarketing
Our aircraft re-leasing strategy is to develop opportunities proactively, well in advance of scheduled lease expiration, to enable consideration of a broad set of alternatives, including passenger or freighter deployments, or part-out or other sales, and to allow for reconfiguration or maintenance lead times where needed. We also take a proactive approach to monitoring the credit quality of our customers, and seek early return and redeployment of aircraft if we feel that a lessee is unlikely to perform its obligations under a lease. We have invested significant resources in developing and implementing what we consider to be state-of-the-art lease management information systems and processes to enable efficient management of aircraft in our portfolio.
Other Aviation Assets and Alternative New Business Approaches
As of December 31, 2014, our overall portfolio of assets consists entirely of commercial jet aircraft. We believe investment opportunities may arise in related sectors such as jet engine and spare parts leasing and financing and commercial turboprop aircraft and helicopter leasing and financing. In the future, we may make opportunistic investments in these or other sectors or in other aviation-related assets and we intend to continue to explore other income-generating activities and investments. We established a joint venture with Teachers' in December 2013 in order to leverage our experience and contacts that will invest in leased aircraft, provided that capital is available to fund such investments on attractive terms. As of December 31, 2014, the joint venture's total assets were $545 million. At February 6, 2015, Teachers' holds 9.7% of our common shares. Therefore, each of the joint venture and the sales of the aircraft were arm's length related party transactions under our related party policy and were approved by our Audit Committee.
We believe we have a world class servicing platform and may also pursue opportunities to capitalize on these capabilities such as providing aircraft management services for third party aircraft owners.
Competition
The aircraft leasing and trading industry is highly competitive with a significant number of active participants. We face competition for the acquisition of aircraft from airlines and other aircraft owners, for the placement of aircraft on lease with airlines and for buyers of aircraft assets which we may wish to divest.
Competition for aircraft acquisitions comes from large established aircraft leasing companies, smaller players, and new entrants. The improvement in financial markets conditions over the past three years has increased competition across most asset types and has drawn many new investors to our business.
Larger lessors are generally more focused on acquiring new aircraft via both purchase and lease-back transactions with airlines and through direct orders with the original equipment manufacturers. These larger lessors include companies such as GE Capital Aviation Services, AerCap Holdings NV ("AerCap"), Air Lease Corporation, Aviation Capital Group, CIT Aerospace, AWAS, SMBC Aviation Capital, BOC Aviation and Avolon Holdings. In addition, several major Asian financial institutions have entered the market for new aircraft over the past several years through new leasing subsidiaries and have been pursuing business aggressively.
During 2014, AerCap acquired the common stock of ILFC, a wholly owned subsidiary of American International Group, creating, by some measures, the largest aircraft leasing company. In doing so, AerCap also became the largest publicly traded aircraft leasing company with a year-end 2014 market capitalization of more than $8 billion. In December 2014, Avolon Holdings completed an initial public offering of stock, making them the fifth major aircraft leasing company to be traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

7

Table of Contents


Competition for mid-aged and older aircraft typically comes from smaller players that, in many cases, rely on private equity or hedge fund capital sources. Such competitors include Apollo Aviation Group, Deucalion, Oak Hill Aviation and a number of relatively new players funded by alternative investment funds and companies.
Competition for leasing or re-leasing of aircraft, as well as aircraft sales is based principally upon the availability, type and condition of aircraft, lease rates, prices and other lease terms. Aircraft manufacturers, airlines and other operators, distributors, equipment managers, leasing companies, financial institutions and other parties engaged in leasing, managing, marketing or remarketing aircraft compete with us, although their focus may be on different market segments and aircraft types.
Some of our competitors have, or may obtain, greater financial resources than us and may have a lower cost of capital. A number also commit to speculative orders of new aircraft to be placed on operating lease upon delivery from the manufacturer, which compete with new and used aircraft offered by other lessors. However, we believe that we are able to compete favorably in aircraft acquisition, leasing and sales activities due to the reputation of our team of experienced professionals, extensive market contacts and expertise in sourcing and acquiring aircraft. We also believe our access of unsecured capital markets debt provides us with a competitive advantage in pursuing investments quickly and reliably and in acquiring aircraft in situations for which it may be more difficult to finance on a secured, non-recourse basis.
Employees
We operate in a capital intensive, rather than a labor intensive, business. As of December 31, 2014, we had 97 employees. None of our employees are covered by a collective bargaining agreement and we believe that we maintain excellent employee relations. We provide certain employee benefits, including retirement benefits, and health, life, disability and accident insurance plans.
Insurance
We require our lessees to carry airline general third-party legal liability insurance, all-risk aircraft hull insurance (both with respect to the aircraft and with respect to each engine when not installed on our aircraft) and war-risk hull and legal liability insurance. We are named as an additional insured on liability insurance policies carried by our lessees, and we or one of our lenders would typically be designated as a loss payee in the event of a total loss of the aircraft. We maintain contingent hull and liability insurance coverage with respect to our aircraft which is intended to provide coverage for certain risks, including the risk of cancellation of the hull or liability insurance maintained by any of our lessees without notice to us, but which excludes coverage for other risks such as the risk of insolvency of the primary insurer or reinsurer.
We maintain insurance policies to cover non-aviation risks related to physical damage to our equipment and property, as well as with respect to third-party liabilities arising through the course of our normal business operations (other than aircraft operations). We also maintain limited business interruption insurance to cover a portion of the costs we would expect to incur in connection with a disruption to our main facilities, and we maintain directors’ and officers’ liability insurance providing coverage for liabilities related to the service of our directors, officers and certain employees. Consistent with industry practice, our insurance policies are generally subject to deductibles or self-retention amounts.
We believe that the insurance coverage currently carried by our lessees and by Aircastle provides adequate protection against the accident-related and other covered risks involved in the conduct of our business. However, there can be no assurance that we have adequately insured against all risks, that lessees will at all times comply with their obligations to maintain insurance, that our lessees’ insurers and re-insurers will be or will remain solvent and able to satisfy any claims, that any particular claim will ultimately be paid or that we will be able to procure adequate insurance coverage at commercially reasonable rates in the future.
Government Regulation
The air transportation industry is highly regulated, We are however, generally not directly subject to most of these regulations because we do not operate aircraft. In contrast, our lessees are subject to extensive, direct regulation under the laws of the jurisdictions in which they are registered and under which they operate. Such laws govern, among other things, the registration, operation and maintenance of our aircraft. Our customers may also be subject to noise or emissions regulations in the jurisdictions in which they operate our aircraft. For example, the United States and other jurisdictions impose more stringent limits on nitrogen oxide (“NOx”), carbon monoxide (“CO”) and carbon dioxide (“CO2”) emissions from engines. In addition, European countries generally have more strict environmental regulations and, in particular, the European Union

8

Table of Contents


("EU") has included aviation in the European Emissions Trading Scheme (“ETS”), although the United States, China and other countries continue to oppose the inclusion of aviation emissions in ETS.
Most of our aircraft are registered in the jurisdiction in which the lessee of the aircraft is certified as an air operator. As a result, our aircraft are subject to the airworthiness and other standards imposed by such jurisdictions. Laws affecting the airworthiness of aircraft generally are designed to ensure that all aircraft and related equipment are continuously maintained under a program that will enable safe operation of the aircraft. Most countries’ aviation laws require aircraft to be maintained under an approved maintenance program having defined procedures and intervals for inspection, maintenance and repair.
Our lessees are sometimes obligated by us to obtain governmental approval to import and lease our aircraft, to operate our aircraft on certain routes and to pay us in U.S. dollars. Usually, these approvals are obtained prior to lease commencement as a condition to our delivery of the aircraft. Governmental leave to deregister and/or re-export an aircraft at lease expiration or termination may also be required.
We are also subject to U.S. regulations governing the lease and sale of aircraft to foreign entities. Specifically, the U.S. Department of Commerce (through its Bureau of Industry and Security) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury (through its Office of Foreign Assets Control) impose restrictions on the operation of U.S.-made goods, such as aircraft and engines, in sanctioned countries, and also impose restrictions on the ability of U.S. companies to conduct business with entities in certain countries and with certain individuals. We structure our aircraft lease and sale documentation to require compliance with these restrictions.
Inflation
Inflation affects our lease rentals, asset values and costs, including SG&A expenses and other expenses. We do not believe that our financial results have been, or will be, adversely affected by inflation in a material way.
Subsequent Events
The Company’s management has reviewed and evaluated all events or transactions for potential recognition and/or disclosure since the balance sheet date of December 31, 2014 through the date of this filing, the date on which the consolidated financial statements included in this Form 10-K were issued.

ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS
In addition to the other information set forth in this report, you should carefully consider the following factors, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations or ability to pay dividends in future periods or to meet our debt obligations. The risks described below are not the only risks facing our Company. Additional risks not currently known to us or that we currently deem to be immaterial also may materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations or ability to pay dividends in future periods.
Risks Related to Our Business
Risks Related to Our Operations
Volatile financial market conditions may adversely impact our liquidity, our access to capital and our cost of capital and may adversely impact the airline industry and the financial condition of our lessees.
The financial crisis that began in the second half of 2008 resulted in significant global market volatility and disruption and a lack of liquidity. While these conditions have stabilized and many segments of the capital markets have improved substantially since the first quarter of 2009, the availability and pricing of capital in the commercial bank market and in the unsecured bond market remain susceptible to global events, including, for example, the recent decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve to begin tapering its asset purchase program and concerns over China's economy and banking system. If we need, but cannot obtain, adequate capital on satisfactory terms, or at all, as a result of negative conditions in the capital markets or otherwise, our business, financial condition, results of operations or our ability to pay dividends to our shareholders could be materially adversely affected. Additionally, such inability to obtain capital on satisfactory terms, or at all, could prevent us from pursuing attractive future growth opportunities.

9

Table of Contents


Risks affecting the airline industry may adversely affect our customers and have a material adverse impact on our financial results.
We operate as a supplier to airlines and are indirectly impacted by all the risks facing airlines today. The ability of each lessee to perform its obligations under the relevant lease will depend primarily on the lessee’s financial condition and cash flow, which may be affected by factors beyond our control, including:
passenger and air cargo demand;
competition;
passenger fare levels and air cargo rates;
the continuing availability of government support, whether through subsidies, loans, guarantees, equity investments or otherwise;
availability of financing and other circumstances affecting airline liquidity, including covenants in financings, terms imposed by credit card issuers, collateral posting requirements contained in fuel hedging contracts and the ability of airlines to make or refinance principal payments as they come due;
geopolitical and other events, including war, acts or threats of terrorism, outbreaks of epidemic diseases and natural disasters;
aircraft accidents;
operating costs, including the price and availability of jet fuel, labor costs and insurance costs and coverages;
restrictions in labor contracts and labor difficulties;
economic conditions, including recession, financial system distress and currency fluctuations in the countries and regions in which the lessee operates or from which the lessee obtains financing; and
governmental regulation of, or affecting the air transportation business, including noise regulations, emissions regulations, climate change initiatives, and aircraft age limitations.
These factors, and others, may lead to defaults by our customers, or may delay or prevent aircraft deliveries or transitions, result in payment restructurings or other lease term restructurings, and may increase our costs from repossessions and reduce our revenues due to downtime or lower re-lease rates.
We bear the risk of re-leasing and selling our aircraft in order to meet our debt obligations, finance our growth and operations, pay dividends and, ultimately, realize upon the investment in the aircraft in our portfolio.
We bear the risk of re-leasing and selling or otherwise disposing of our aircraft in order to continue to generate revenues. In certain cases we commit to purchase aircraft that are not subject to lease and therefore are subject to lease placement risk for aircraft we are obliged to purchase. Because only a portion of an aircraft’s value is covered by contractual cash flows from an operating lease, we are exposed to the risk that the residual value of the aircraft will not be sufficient to permit us to fully recover or realize a gain on our investment in the aircraft and to the risk that we may have to record impairment charges. Further, our ability to re-lease, lease or sell aircraft on favorable terms, or at all, or without significant off-lease time and transition costs is likely to be adversely impacted by risks affecting the airline industry generally.
Other factors that may affect our ability to realize upon the investment in our aircraft and that may increase the likelihood of impairment charges, include higher fuel prices which may reduce demand for older, less fuel efficient aircraft, additional environmental regulations, customer preferences and other factors that may effectively shorten the useful life of older aircraft.
We wrote down the value of some of our assets during 2014, and if conditions worsen, or in the event of a customer default, we may be required to record further write-downs.

We test our assets for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amounts for such assets are not recoverable from their expected, undiscounted cash flows. We also perform our annual fleet-wide recoverability assessment during the third quarter of each year. This recoverability assessment is a comparison of the carrying value of each aircraft to its undiscounted expected future cash flows. We develop the assumptions used in the recoverability assessment, including those relating to current and future demand for each aircraft type, based on management's experience in the aircraft leasing industry as well as information received from third party sources. We refer to impairments arising from this analysis as "Annual Fleet-Wide Impairments". During our 2014 assessment, we reduced our forecast of future cash flows for two older freighter aircraft and recorded an aggregate of $19.5 million in impairments during the third quarter.
In addition to charges arising from our fleet-wide review, during 2014 we recorded impairment charges of $42.7 million on several aircraft that were returned to us early as a result of lease terminations or amendments which we refer to as

10

Table of Contents


"Transactional Impairments". During 2014, we also recorded impairment charges of $30.9 million related to our exit from converted freighter aircraft which we refer to as "Freighters Held for Sale". We recorded maintenance revenue and other revenue and reversed lease incentives related to some of these aircraft that partly offset these impairments. See “Item 7: Management Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Summary of Impairments and Recoverability Assessment” for more details.
If anticipated aircraft lease cash flows or sales values worsen due to a decline in market conditions, or a lessee customer defaults, we may have to reassess the carrying value of one or more of our aircraft assets.  In particular, we believe that as aircraft approach the end of their economic useful lives, their carrying values may be more susceptible to non-recoverable declines in value because such assets will have a shorter opportunity in which to benefit from a market recovery. As such, it is possible that additional impairments may be triggered for other long-lived assets and any such impairment amounts may be material. As of December 31, 2014, based on net book value, 19% of our aircraft portfolio was 15 years or older, 5% of our aircraft portfolio was 20 years or older and less than 1% of our aircraft portfolio was 25 years or older.
Our financial reporting for lease revenue may be significantly impacted by a proposed new model for lease accounting.
On August 17, 2010, the International Accounting Standards Board, (“IASB”), and FASB published for public comment joint proposals (the “Proposals”) to change the financial reporting of lease contracts (“Lease ED”).
In May 2013, the FASB issued re-exposure draft, “Leases” (the “Lease Re-ED”), which would replace the existing guidance in the Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 840 (“ASC 840”), Leases. In March 2014, the FASB decided that the accounting for leases by lessors would basically remain unchanged from the concepts existing in current ASC 840 accounting. In addition, the FASB decided that a lessor should be precluded from recognizing selling profit and revenue at lease commencement for any sales-type or direct finance lease that does not transfer control of the underlying asset to the lessee. This requirement aligns the notion of what constitutes a sale in the lessor accounting guidance with that in the forthcoming revenue recognition standard, which evaluates whether a sale has occurred from the customer’s perspective. We anticipate that the final lease standard may have an effective date no earlier than 2017. We believe that when and if the proposed guidance becomes effective, the changes will not have a material impact our financial results and the market price of our shares.
Our ability to obtain debt financing and our cost of debt financing is, in part, dependent upon our credit ratings and a credit downgrade could adversely impact our financial results.
Our ability to obtain debt financing and our cost of debt financing is dependent, in part, on our credit ratings. Maintaining our credit ratings depends in part on strong financial results and in part on other factors, including the outlook of the ratings agencies on our sector and on the market generally. A credit rating downgrade may result in higher pricing or less favorable terms under secured financings, including Export Credit Agency backed financings, or may make it more difficult or more costly for us to raise debt financing in the unsecured bond market. Credit rating downgrades may therefore make it more difficult to satisfy our funding requirements.
An increase in our borrowing costs may adversely affect our earnings and cash available for distribution to our shareholders.
Our aircraft are financed under long-term debt financings. As these financings mature, we will be required to either refinance these instruments by entering into new financings, which could result in higher borrowing costs, or repay them by using cash on hand or cash from the sale of our assets.
Departure of key officers could harm our business and financial results.
Our senior management’s reputations and relationships with lessees, sellers, buyers and financiers of aircraft are a critical element of our business. We encounter intense competition for qualified employees from other companies in the aircraft leasing industry, and we believe there are only a limited number of available qualified executives in our industry. Our future success depends, to a significant extent, upon the continued service of our senior management personnel, and if we lose one or more of these individuals, our business could be adversely affected.



11

Table of Contents


We may not be able to pay or maintain dividends, or we may choose not to pay dividends, and the failure to pay or maintain dividends may adversely affect our share price.
On October 31, 2014, our board of directors declared a regular quarterly dividend of $0.22 per common share, or an aggregate of approximately $17.8 million , which was paid on December 15, 2014 to holders of record on November 28, 2014. This dividend may not be indicative of the amount of any future quarterly dividends. Our ability to pay, maintain or increase cash dividends to our shareholders is subject to the discretion of our board of directors and will depend on many factors, including: our ability to comply with financial covenants in our financing documents that limit our ability to pay dividends and make certain other restricted payments; the difficulty we may experience in raising, and the cost of, additional capital and our ability to finance our aircraft acquisition commitments; our ability to re-finance our securitizations and other long-term financings; our ability to negotiate and enforce favorable lease rates and other contractual terms; the level of demand for our aircraft in the lease placement or sales markets; the economic condition of the commercial aviation industry generally; the financial condition and liquidity of our lessees; unexpected or increased aircraft maintenance or other expenses; the level and timing of capital expenditures, principal repayments and other capital needs; maintaining our credit ratings, our results of operations, financial condition and liquidity; legal restrictions on the payment of dividends, including a statutory dividend test and other limitations under Bermuda law; and general business conditions and other factors that our board of directors deems relevant. Some of these factors are beyond our control. In the future we may not choose to pay dividends or may not be able to pay dividends, maintain our current level of dividends, or increase them over time. The failure to maintain or pay dividends may adversely affect our share price.
We are subject to risks related to our indebtedness that may limit our operational flexibility and our ability to compete with our competitors.
General Risks
As of December 31, 2014, our total indebtedness was approximately $3.8 billion, representing approximately 68.8% of our total capitalization. Aircastle Limited has guaranteed most of this indebtedness, and we are responsible on a full recourse basis for timely payment when due and compliance with covenants under the related debt documentation. As a result of our substantial amount of indebtedness, we may be unable to generate sufficient cash to pay, when due, the principal of, interest on or other amounts due with respect to our indebtedness, and our substantial amount of indebtedness may increase our vulnerability to adverse economic and industry conditions, reduce our flexibility in planning for or reaction to changes in the business environment or in our business or industry, and adversely affect our cash flow and our ability to operate our business and compete with our competitors.
Our indebtedness subjects us to certain risks, including:
a significant percentage of our aircraft and aircraft leases serve as collateral for our secured indebtedness, and the terms of certain of our indebtedness require us to use proceeds from sales of aircraft, in part, to repay amounts outstanding under such indebtedness;
under terms of certain debt facilities, we may be required to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flows from operations, if available, to debt service payments, thereby reducing the amount of our cash flow available to pay dividends, fund working capital, make capital expenditures and satisfy other needs;
our failure to comply with the terms of our indebtedness, including restrictive covenants contained therein, may result in additional interest being due or defaults that could result in the acceleration of the principal, and unpaid interest on, the defaulted debt, as well as the forfeiture of any aircraft pledged as collateral; and
non-compliance with covenants prohibiting certain investments and other restricted payments, including limitations on our ability to pay dividends, repurchase our common shares, raise additional capital or refinance our existing debt, may reduce our operational flexibility and limit our ability to refinance or grow the business.
Risks Relating to Our Long-term Financings
The provisions of our long-term financings require us to comply with financial and other covenants. Our compliance with these ratios, tests and covenants depends upon, among other things, the timely receipt of lease payments from our lessees and upon our overall financial performance.

12

Table of Contents


ECA Term Financings.  Our ECA term financings contain a $500 million minimum net worth covenant and also contain, among other customary provisions, a material adverse change default and a cross-default to certain other financings of the Company.

Bank Financings.  Our bank financings contain, among other customary provisions, a $500 million minimum net worth covenant and a cross-default to certain other financings of the Company.

Senior Notes.  Our senior notes indenture imposes operating and financial restrictions on our activities. These restrictions limit our ability to, or in certain cases prohibit us from, incurring or guaranteeing additional indebtedness, refinancing our existing indebtedness, paying dividends, repurchasing our common shares, making other restricted payments, making certain investments or entering into joint ventures and a cross-default to certain other financings of the Company.
Revolving Credit Facility.  Our revolving credit facility contains a $750 million minimum net worth covenant, a minimum unencumbered asset ratio, a minimum interest coverage ratio and a cross-default to certain other financings of the Company.
In addition, under the terms of the securitization, certain transactions will require the consent or approval of independent directors, the rating agencies that rated the applicable portfolio’s certificates or the financial guaranty insurance policy issuer. Absent the aforementioned consent, which we may not receive, we may not be able to lease our aircraft to certain customers or to sell an aircraft, even if to do so would provide the best risk/return outcome at that time.
The terms of our financings also restrict our ability to incur or guarantee additional indebtedness or engage in mergers, amalgamations or consolidations among our subsidiary companies or between a subsidiary company and a third party or otherwise dispose of all or substantially all of our assets.
We are subject to various risks and requirements associated with transacting business in foreign jurisdictions.
The international nature of our business exposes us to trade and economic sanctions and other restrictions imposed by the U.S. and other governments. The U.S. Departments of Justice, Commerce, Treasury and other agencies and authorities have a broad range of civil and criminal penalties they may seek to impose against companies for violations of export controls, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”), and other federal statutes, sanctions and regulations, including those established by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) and, increasingly, similar or more restrictive foreign laws, rules and regulations, including the U.K. Bribery Act (“UKBA”), which may also apply to us. By virtue of these laws and regulations, and under laws and regulations in other jurisdictions, we may be obliged to limit our business activities, we may incur costs for compliance programs and we may be subject to enforcement actions or penalties for noncompliance. In recent years, U.S. and foreign governments have increased their oversight and enforcement activities with respect to these laws, and we expect the relevant agencies to continue to increase these activities.
We have compliance policies and training programs in place for our employees with respect to FCPA, OFAC Regulations, UKBA and similar laws, but there can be no assurance that our employees, consultants or agents will not engage in conduct for which we may be held responsible. Violations of FCPA, OFAC Regulations, UKBA and other laws, sanctions or regulations may result in severe criminal or civil penalties, and we may be subject to other liabilities.
We are dependent upon information technology systems, which are subject to disruption, damage, failure and risks associated with implementation and integration.
We are dependent upon information technology systems to manage, process, store and transmit information associated with our operations, which may include proprietary business information and personally identifiable information of our customers and employees. Our information technology systems are subject to disruption, damage or failure from a variety of sources, including, without limitation, computer viruses, security breaches, cyber-attacks, employee error, natural disasters and defects in design. Damage, disruption, or failure of one or more information technology systems may result in interruptions to our operations in the interim or may require a significant investment to fix or replace them or may result in significant damage to our reputation. Although various measures have been implemented to manage our risks related to the information technology systems and network disruptions, a cyber-attack could lead to the loss of sensitive information, including our own proprietary information or that of our customers and employees, and could harm our reputation and result in lost revenues and additional costs and potential liabilities.

13

Table of Contents


Risks Related to Our Aviation Assets
The variability of supply and demand for aircraft could depress lease rates for our aircraft, which would have an adverse effect on our financial results and growth prospects.
The aircraft leasing and sales industry has experienced periods of aircraft oversupply and undersupply. In recent years, we believe the market has been characterized by oversupply of certain older, less fuel efficient aircraft and certain freighter aircraft types. The oversupply of a specific type of aircraft in the market is likely to depress aircraft lease rates for, and the value of, that type of aircraft.
The supply and demand for aircraft is affected by various cyclical and non-cyclical factors that are not under our control, including:
passenger and air cargo demand;
operating costs, including fuel costs, and general economic conditions affecting our lessees’ operations;
geopolitical events, including war, prolonged armed conflict and acts of terrorism;
outbreaks of communicable diseases and natural disasters;
governmental regulation;
interest rates;
foreign exchange rates;
airline restructurings and bankruptcies;
the availability of credit;
changes in control of, or restructurings of, other aircraft leasing companies;
manufacturer production levels and technological innovation;
climate change initiatives, technological change, aircraft noise and emissions regulations, aircraft age limits and other factors leading to reduced demand for, early retirement or obsolescence of aircraft models;
manufacturers merging, exiting the industry or ceasing to produce aircraft types;
new-entrant manufacturers producing additional aircraft models, or existing manufacturers producing newly engined aircraft models or new aircraft models, in competition with existing aircraft models;
reintroduction into service of aircraft previously in storage; and
airport and air traffic control infrastructure constraints.
These and other factors may produce sharp decreases or increases in aircraft values and lease rates, which would impact our cost of acquiring aircraft and our ability to grow the business, or which may result in lease defaults and also prevent the aircraft from being re-leased or sold on favorable terms. This could have an adverse effect on our financial results and growth prospects.
Other factors that increase the risk of decline in aircraft value and lease rates could have an adverse effect on our financial results and growth prospects.
In addition to factors linked to the aviation industry generally, other factors that may affect the value and lease rates of our aircraft include:
the age of the aircraft;
the particular maintenance and operating history of the airframe and engines;
the number of operators using that type of aircraft;
whether the aircraft is subject to a lease and, if so, whether the lease terms are favorable to us;
applicable airworthiness directives or manufacturer’s service bulletins that have not yet been performed to the aircraft;
grounding orders or other regulatory action that could prevent or limit utilization of our aircraft;
any regulatory and legal requirements that must be satisfied before the aircraft can be purchased, sold or re-leased; and
compatibility of our aircraft configurations or specifications with those desired by the operators of other aircraft of that type.
Any decrease in the values of and lease rates for commercial aircraft which may result from the above factors or other unanticipated factors may have a material adverse effect on our financial results and growth prospects.

14

Table of Contents


The advent of superior aircraft technology could cause our existing aircraft portfolio to become outdated and therefore less desirable.
As manufacturers introduce technological innovations and new types of aircraft, including the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 and re-engined and/or replacement types for the Boeing 737, Boeing 777, Airbus A320, Airbus A330 and Embraer E-Jet families of aircraft, certain aircraft in our existing aircraft portfolio may become less desirable to potential lessees or purchasers. This next generation of aircraft is expected to deliver improved fuel consumption and reduced noise and emissions with lower operating costs compared to current-technology aircraft. The Boeing 787 is currently in production while the Boeing 777X is expected to enter service in 2020-2021. The first variant of the Airbus A350 entered service in December 2014. The A320neo, A330neo and 737 MAX families of aircraft are expected to enter service between 2016 and 2017 and Embraer has also announced that it intends to produce a second generation of E-Jets as early as 2018. Further, Bombardier Inc., Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd and Sukhoi Company (JSC) are developing aircraft models that will compete with the Airbus A319 and Boeing 737 and other aircraft in our fleet.
The introduction of these new models could adversely affect our ability to lease or sell our aircraft on favorable terms, or at all.
The effects of energy, emissions, and noise regulations and policies may negatively affect the airline industry. This may cause lessees to default on their lease payment obligations to us and may limit the market for certain aircraft in our portfolio.
Governmental regulations regarding aircraft and engine noise and emissions levels apply based on where the relevant aircraft is registered and operated. For example, jurisdictions throughout the world have adopted noise regulations which require all aircraft to comply with noise level standards. In addition to the current requirements, the United States and the International Civil Aviation Organization (“ICAO”) have adopted a new, more stringent set of standards for noise levels which applies to engines manufactured or certified on or after January 1, 2006. Currently, U.S. regulations would not require any phase-out of aircraft that qualify with the older standards applicable to engines manufactured or certified prior to January 1, 2006, but the EU has established a framework for the imposition of operating limitations on aircraft that do not comply with the new standards. These regulations could limit the economic life of the aircraft and engines, reduce their value, limit our ability to lease or sell these non-compliant aircraft and engines or, if engine modifications are permitted, require us to make significant additional investments in the aircraft and engines to make them compliant.
In addition to stringent noise restrictions, the U.S. and other jurisdictions have imposed stringent limits on aircraft engine emissions, such as NOx, CO and CO2, consistent with current ICAO standards. European countries have relatively strict environmental regulations that can restrict operational flexibility and decrease aircraft productivity. The EU has included the aviation sector in its ETS, and has attempted to apply the ETS to flights outside of European airspace. This effort has been opposed by the U.S. and other countries. The EU has since suspended the ETS for flights from or to non-European countries due to a proposal issued by the ICAO in October 2013 for a global program to reduce aircraft greenhouse gases (“GHGs”), which would become effective by 2020. As a result the EU has also proposed to amend the ETS to permanently exclude all flights or portions thereof that do not take place in European regional airspace from the ETS until the ICAO mechanism goes into effect. Finally, the ICAO has also adopted a resolution designed to cap GHGs from aircraft and further committed to propose a GHG standard for aircraft engines by 2016.
Over time, it is possible that governments will adopt additional regulatory requirements and/or market-based policies that are intended to reduce energy usage, emissions, and noise levels from aircraft. Such initiatives may be based on concerns regarding climate change, energy security, public health, local impacts, or other factors, and may also impact the global market for certain aircraft and cause behavioral shifts that result in decreased demand for air travel. These concerns could also result in greater limitations on the operation of our fleet, particularly aircraft equipped with other technology engines.
Compliance with current or future regulations, taxes or duties could cause our lessees to incur higher costs and lead to higher ticket prices, which could mean lower demand for travel and adverse impacts on the financial condition of our lessees. Such compliance may also affect our lessees’ ability to make rental and other lease payments and limit the market for aircraft in our portfolio, which could have other negative effects on our financial position.



15

Table of Contents


The older age, or older technology, of some of our aircraft may expose us to higher than anticipated maintenance related expenses.
As of December 31, 2014, 19% of our aircraft portfolio, based on net book value, was 15 years or older. In general, the costs of operating an aircraft, including maintenance expenditures, increase with the age of the aircraft. Additionally, older aircraft typically are less fuel-efficient than newer aircraft and may be more difficult to re-lease or sell, particularly if, due to increasing production rates by aircraft manufacturers or airline insolvencies or other distress, older aircraft are competing with newer aircraft in the lease or sale market. Expenses like fuel, aging aircraft inspections, maintenance or modification programs and related airworthiness directives could make the operation of older aircraft less economically feasible and may result in increased lessee defaults. We may also incur some of these increased maintenance expenses and regulatory costs upon acquisition or re-leasing of our aircraft. In addition, a number of countries have adopted or may adopt age limits on aircraft imports, which may result in greater difficulty placing affected aircraft on lease or re-lease on favorable terms.
The concentration of aircraft types in our aircraft portfolio could lead to adverse effects on our business and financial results should any difficulties specific to these particular types of aircraft occur.

Our owned aircraft portfolio is concentrated in certain aircraft types. Should any of these aircraft types (or other types we acquire in the future) or aircraft manufacturers encounter technical, financial or other difficulties, it would cause a decrease in value of these aircraft, an inability to lease the aircraft on favorable terms or at all, or a potential grounding of these aircraft, which may adversely impact our financial results, to the extent the affected aircraft types comprise a significant percentage of our aircraft portfolio.
We operate in a highly competitive market for investment opportunities in aviation assets and for the leasing and sale of aircraft .
We compete with other operating lessors, airlines, aircraft manufacturers, financial institutions, aircraft brokers and other investors with respect to aircraft acquisitions, leasing and sales. The aircraft leasing industry is highly competitive and may be divided into three basic activities: (i) aircraft acquisition, (ii) leasing or re-leasing of aircraft, and (iii) aircraft sales. Competition varies among these three basic activities.
A number of our competitors are substantially larger and have considerably greater financial, technical and marketing resources than we do. Some competitors may have a lower cost of funds and access to funding sources that are not available to us. In addition, some of our competitors may have higher risk tolerances or different risk or residual value assessments, which could allow them to consider a wider variety of investments, establish more relationships, bid more aggressively on aviation assets available for sale and offer lower lease rates or sales prices than we can. Some of our competitors may provide financial services, maintenance services or other inducements to potential lessees or buyers that we cannot provide. As a result of competitive pressures, we may not be able to take advantage of attractive investment opportunities from time to time, and we may not be able to identify and make investments that are consistent with our investment objectives. We are beginning to see a greater supply of certain aircraft, engines and parts being offered for sale in the part-out market as other leasing companies start addressing the older aircraft in their portfolios. Additionally, the barriers to entry in the aircraft acquisition and leasing market are comparatively low, and new entrants with private equity, hedge fund, Asian bank or other funding sources appear from time to time. We may not be able to compete effectively against present and future competitors in the aircraft acquisition, leasing or sales market.
Risks Related to Our Leases
If lessees are unable to fund their maintenance obligations on our aircraft, we may incur increased costs at the conclusion of the applicable lease.
The standards of maintenance observed by the various lessees and the condition of the aircraft at the time of lease or sale may affect the future values and rental rates for our aircraft.
Under our leases, the relevant lessee is generally responsible for maintaining the aircraft and complying with all governmental requirements applicable to the lessee and the aircraft, including, without limitation, operational, maintenance, and registration requirements and airworthiness directives, although in certain cases we may agree to share certain of these costs. Failure of a lessee to perform required aircraft maintenance or required airworthiness directives could result in a decrease in value of such aircraft, an adverse effect on our ability to lease the aircraft at favorable rates or at all, or a potential

16

Table of Contents


grounding of such aircraft, and will likely require us to incur increased maintenance and modification costs upon the expiration or earlier termination of the applicable lease, which could be substantial, to restore such aircraft to an acceptable condition. If any of our aircraft are not subject to a lease, we would be required to bear the entire cost of maintaining that aircraft and performing any required airworthiness directives.
Certain of our leases provide that the lessee is required to make periodic payments to us during the lease term in order to provide cash reserves for the major maintenance. In these leases there is an associated liability for us to reimburse the lessee after such maintenance is performed. A substantial number of our leases do not provide for any periodic maintenance reserve payments to be made to us. Typically, these lessees are required to make payments at the end of the lease term; however, in the event such lessees default, we may be required to fund the entire cost of performing major maintenance on the relevant aircraft without having received compensating maintenance payments from these lessees.
Even if we receive maintenance payments, these payments may not cover the entire expense of the scheduled maintenance they are intended to fund. In addition, maintenance payments typically cover only certain scheduled maintenance requirements and do not cover all required maintenance and all scheduled maintenance. As a result, we may incur unanticipated or significant costs at the conclusion of a lease.
Failure to pay certain potential additional operating costs could result in the grounding or arrest of our aircraft and prevent the re-lease, sale or other use of our aircraft.
As in the case of maintenance costs, we may incur other operational costs upon a lessee default or where the terms of the lease require us to pay a portion of those costs. Such costs include:
the costs of casualty, liability and political risk insurance and the liability costs or losses when insurance coverage has not been or cannot be obtained as required, or is insufficient in amount or scope;
the costs of licensing, exporting or importing an aircraft, airport charges, customs duties, air navigation charges, landing fees and similar governmental or quasi-governmental impositions, which can be substantial;
penalties and costs associated with the failure of lessees to keep aircraft registered under all appropriate local requirements or obtain required governmental licenses, consents and approvals; and
carbon taxes or other fees, taxes or costs imposed under emissions limitations, climate change regulations or other initiatives.
The failure to pay certain of these costs can result in liens on the aircraft and the failure to register the aircraft can result in a loss of insurance. These matters could result in the grounding or arrest of the aircraft and prevent the re-lease, sale or other use of the aircraft until the problem is cured.
Our lessees may have inadequate insurance coverage or fail to fulfill their respective indemnity obligations, which could result in us not being covered for claims asserted against us.
By virtue of holding title to the aircraft, lessors may be held strictly liable for losses resulting from the operation of aircraft or may be held liable for those losses based on other legal theories. Liability may be placed on an aircraft lessor in certain jurisdictions around the world even under circumstances in which the lessor is not directly controlling the operation of the relevant aircraft.
Lessees are required under our leases to indemnify us for, and insure against, liabilities arising out of the use and operation of the aircraft, including third-party claims for death or injury to persons and damage to property for which we may be deemed liable. Lessees are also required to maintain public liability, property damage and hull all risk and hull war risk insurance on the aircraft at agreed upon levels. However, they are not generally required to maintain political risk insurance. Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, aviation insurers significantly reduced the amount of insurance coverage available to airlines for liability to persons other than employees or passengers for claims resulting from acts of terrorism, war or similar events. At the same time, they significantly increased the premiums for such third-party war risk and terrorism liability insurance and coverage in general. As a result, the amount of such third-party war risk and terrorism liability insurance that is commercially available at any time may be below the amount stipulated in our leases.
Our lessees’ insurance, including any available governmental supplemental coverage, may not be sufficient to cover all types of claims that may be asserted against us. Any inadequate insurance coverage or default by lessees in fulfilling their indemnification or insurance obligations will reduce the proceeds that would be received by us upon an event of loss under the respective leases or upon a claim under the relevant liability insurance.

17

Table of Contents


Failure to obtain certain required licenses and approvals could negatively affect our ability to re-lease or sell aircraft.
A number of our lessees must obtain licenses, consents or approvals in order to import or operate the aircraft or comply with the leases. These include consents from governmental or regulatory authorities for certain payments under the leases and for the import, export or deregistration of the aircraft. Subsequent changes in applicable law or administrative practice may increase such requirements and a governmental consent, once given, might be withdrawn. Furthermore, consents needed in connection with future re-leasing or sale of an aircraft may not be forthcoming. Any of these events could adversely affect our ability to re-lease or sell aircraft.
Due to the fact that many of our lessees operate in emerging markets, we are indirectly subject to many of the economic and political risks associated with competing in such markets.
Emerging markets are countries which have less developed economies that are vulnerable to economic and political problems, such as significant fluctuations in gross domestic product, interest and currency exchange rates, civil disturbances, government instability, nationalization and expropriation of private assets, changes in governments or government policy and the imposition of taxes or other charges by governments. The occurrence of any of these events in markets served by our lessees and the resulting instability may adversely affect our ownership interest in an aircraft or the ability of lessees which operate in these markets to meet their lease obligations and these lessees may be more likely to default than lessees that operate in developed economies. For the year ended December 31, 2014, 45 of our lessees which operated 111 aircraft and generated lease rental revenue representing 54% of our lease rental revenue are domiciled or habitually based in emerging markets.
Risks Related to Our Lessees
Lessee defaults could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
As a general matter, airlines with weak capital structures are more likely than well-capitalized airlines to seek operating leases, and, at any point in time, investors should expect a varying number of lessees and sub-lessees to experience payment difficulties. As a result of their weak financial condition and lack of liquidity, a portion of lessees over time may be significantly in arrears in their rental or maintenance payments. This is likely to be the case in the future and with other lessees and sub-lessees of our aircraft as well, particularly in a difficult economic or operating environment. These liquidity issues will be more likely to lead to airline failures in the context of financial system distress, volatile fuel prices, and economic slowdown, with additional liquidity being more difficult and expensive to source. Given the size of our aircraft portfolio, we expect that from time to time some lessees will be slow in making, or will fail to make, their payments in full under their leases.
We may not correctly assess the credit risk of each lessee or may not be in a position to charge risk-adjusted lease rates, and lessees may not be able to continue to perform their financial and other obligations under our leases in the future. A delayed, reduced or missed rental payment from a lessee decreases our revenues and cash flow and may adversely affect our ability to make payments on our indebtedness or to comply with debt service coverage or interest coverage ratios. While we may experience some level of delinquency under our leases, default levels may increase over time, particularly as our aircraft portfolio ages and if economic conditions deteriorate. A lessee may experience periodic difficulties that are not financial in nature, which could impair its performance of maintenance obligations under the leases. These difficulties may include the failure to perform required aircraft maintenance and labor-management disagreements or disputes.
In the event that a lessee defaults under a lease, any security deposit paid or letter of credit provided by the lessee may not be sufficient to cover the lessee’s outstanding or unpaid lease obligations and required maintenance and transition expenses.
Adverse currency movements could negatively affect our lessees' ability to honor the terms of their leases and could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Many of our lessees are exposed to currency risk due to the fact that they earn revenues in their local currencies while a significant portion of their liabilities and expenses, including fuel, debt service, and lease payments are denominated in U.S. dollars. In the case of a devaluation of the local currency, our lessees may not be able to increase revenue sufficiently to offset the impact of exchange rates on these expenses. This is particularly true for non-U.S. airlines whose operations are primarily domestic. This difference is magnified in the event of an appreciating U.S. dollar, as we have seen over the course of the last year, due to the strengthening of the U.S. economy and the expectation of rising U.S. interest rates. Currency volatility, particularly as witnessed recently in Russia and other emerging market countries, could impact the ability of some

18

Table of Contents


of our customers to meet their contractual obligations in a timely manner. Shifts in foreign exchange rates can be significant, are difficult to predict, and can occur quickly.
If our lessees encounter financial difficulties and we decide to restructure our leases with those lessees, this could result in less favorable leases and in significant reductions in our cash flow or adversely affect our financial results.
When a lessee is late in making payments, fails to make payments in full or in part under the lease or has otherwise advised us that it will in the future fail to make payments in full or in part under the lease, we may elect to or be required to restructure the lease. Restructuring may involve anything from a simple rescheduling of payments to the termination of a lease without receiving all or any of the past due amounts. If any requests for payment restructuring or rescheduling are made and granted, reduced or deferred rental payments may be payable over all or some part of the remaining term of the lease, although the terms of any revised payment schedules may be unfavorable and such payments may not be made. We may be unable to agree upon acceptable terms for any requested restructurings and as a result may be forced to exercise our remedies under those leases. If we, in the exercise of our remedies, repossess the aircraft, we may not be able to re-lease the aircraft promptly at favorable rates, or at all.
The terms and conditions of payment restructurings or reschedulings may result in significant reductions of rental payments, which may adversely affect our cash flows or our financial results.
Significant costs resulting from lease defaults could have a material adverse effect on our business.
Although we have the right to repossess the aircraft and to exercise other remedies upon a lessee default, repossession of an aircraft after a lessee default would lead to significantly increased costs for us. Those costs include legal and other expenses of court or other governmental proceedings, particularly if the lessee is contesting the proceedings or is in bankruptcy, to obtain possession and/or de-registration of the aircraft and flight and export permissions. Delays resulting from any of these proceedings would also increase the period of time during which the relevant aircraft is not generating revenue. In addition, we may incur substantial maintenance, refurbishment or repair costs that a defaulting lessee has failed to incur or pay and that are necessary to put the aircraft in suitable condition for re-lease or sale and we may be required to pay off liens, claims, taxes and other governmental charges on the aircraft to obtain clear possession and to remarket the aircraft for re-lease or sale. We may also incur maintenance, storage or other costs while we have physical possession of the aircraft.
We may also suffer other adverse consequences as a result of a lessee default and any termination of the lease and the repossession of the related aircraft. Our rights upon a lessee default vary significantly depending upon the jurisdiction, including the need to obtain a court order for repossession of the aircraft and/or consents for de-registration or re-export of the aircraft. When a defaulting lessee is in bankruptcy, protective administration, insolvency or similar proceedings, additional limitations may apply. Certain jurisdictions will give rights to the trustee in bankruptcy or a similar officer to assume or reject the lease or to assign it to a third party, or will entitle the lessee or another third party to retain possession of the aircraft without paying lease rentals or without performing all or some of the obligations under the relevant lease. Certain of our lessees are owned in whole or in part by government-related entities, which could complicate our efforts to repossess the relevant aircraft. Accordingly, we may be delayed in, or prevented from, enforcing certain of our rights under a lease and in re-leasing or selling the affected aircraft.
If we repossess an aircraft, we will not necessarily be able to export or de-register and profitably redeploy the aircraft. For instance, where a lessee or other operator flies only domestic routes in the jurisdiction in which the aircraft is registered, repossession may be more difficult, especially if the jurisdiction permits the lessee or the other operator to resist de-registration. Significant costs may also be incurred in retrieving or recreating aircraft records required for registration of the aircraft and obtaining a certificate of airworthiness for the aircraft.
Airline reorganizations could have an adverse effect on our financial results.
As a result of economic conditions, significant volatility in oil prices and financial markets distress, airlines may be forced to reorganize. Historically, airlines involved in reorganizations have undertaken substantial fare discounting to maintain cash flows and to encourage continued customer loyalty. Such fare discounting has in the past led to lower profitability for all airlines, including certain of our lessees. Bankruptcies and reduced demand may lead to the grounding of significant numbers of aircraft and negotiated reductions in aircraft lease rental rates, with the effect of depressing aircraft market values.  Additional grounded aircraft and lower market values would adversely affect our ability to sell certain of

19

Table of Contents


our aircraft on favorable terms, or at all, or re-lease other aircraft at favorable rates comparable to the then current market conditions, which collectively would have an adverse effect on our financial results.
If our lessees fail to appropriately discharge aircraft liens, we might find it necessary to pay such claims, which could have a negative effect on our cash position and our business.
In the normal course of business, liens that secure the payment of airport fees and taxes, custom duties, air navigation charges (including charges imposed by Eurocontrol), landing charges, crew wages, repairer’s charges, salvage or other liens, are likely, depending on the jurisdiction in question, to attach to the aircraft. These liens may secure substantial sums that may, in certain jurisdictions or for certain types of liens (particularly "fleet liens"), exceed the value of the relevant aircraft. Although the financial obligations relating to these liens are the responsibility of our lessees, if they fail to fulfill their obligations, these liens may attach to our aircraft and ultimately become our responsibility. Until these liens are discharged, we may be unable to repossess, re-lease or sell the aircraft or unable to avoid detention or forfeiture of the aircraft.
Our lessees may not comply with their obligations under their respective leases to discharge liens arising during the terms of their leases, whether or not due to financial difficulties. If they do not do so, we may, in some cases, find it necessary to pay the claims secured by any liens in order to repossess the aircraft.
Risks associated with the concentration of our lessees in certain geographical regions could harm our business or financial results.
Our business is sensitive to local economic and political conditions that can influence the performance of lessees located in a particular region. For the year ended December 31, 2014, lease rental revenues from lessees by region, were 29% in Europe, 40% in Asia, 9% in North America, 13% in South America, and 9% in the Middle East and Africa.
European Concentration
Thirty-three lessees based in Europe, including Russia, accounted for 29% of our lease rental revenues for the year ended December 31, 2014 and 23 lessees accounted for 65 aircraft totaling 29% of the net book value of our aircraft at December 31, 2014. Eighteen aircraft, representing 6% of the net book value of our aircraft at December 31, 2014, were leased to a customer in Spain. We have no lessees based in Greece, Portugal, Italy or Ireland.
Commercial airlines in Europe continue to face increased competitive pressures due to the expansion of low cost carriers, industry consolidation, as well as the growth of strong airlines in the Middle East. While several of the continent's larger airlines have announced comprehensive restructuring efforts, including significant cost cutting measures, we have some concerns about the ability of smaller players to adapt to the changing environment.
The Russian airline industry has been hurt by recent events including the impact of sanctions against Russia and the devaluation of the Ruble. Russia accounted for 7% of our lease rental revenues for the year ended December 31, 2014 and accounted for ten aircraft totaling 6% of the net book value of our aircraft at December 31, 2014. These figures include five Boeing 737NG aircraft which were returned to us in January 2015 and are currently being remarketed. We also have a commitment to lease one additional Boeing 747 freighter aircraft to a Russian airline, and we expect to deliver this aircraft on lease during the first quarter of 2015. Continued uncertainty in Russia could lead to the early termination or repossession of more of our aircraft from Russian airlines. Our lease placement opportunities and lease rates may also be negatively impacted if other aircraft leased to Russian airlines are returned or new aircraft sales to Russian airlines fail to be consummated.
Asian Concentration
Twenty-five lessees based in Asia, including China, accounted for 40% of our lease rental revenues for the year ended December 31, 2014 and 18 lessees accounted for 46 aircraft totaling 40% of the net book value of our aircraft at December 31, 2014. Growth in most of Asia has been strong, driven in large part by emerging economies. Asian airlines face continued competition from new entrants and the growth of low cost carriers in the region. There is also risk of oversupply in the future driven by large outstanding order books of some Asian airlines. Demand weaknesses, due to slowing economic growth in the region, could adversely affect the Asian airlines industry.
Four lessees based in China accounted for 4% of our lease rental revenues for the year ended December 31, 2014 and two lessees accounted for five aircraft totaling 2% of the net book value of our aircraft at December 31, 2014. Chinese airline industry performance during 2014 was relatively strong, but airline performance could suffer if economic growth moderates.


20

Table of Contents


North American Concentration
Seven lessees based in North America accounted for 9% of our lease rental revenues for the year ended December 31, 2014 and six lessees accounted for 17 aircraft totaling 7% of the net book value of our aircraft at December 31, 2014. Consolidation among major airlines in the U.S. has helped drive capacity discipline and pricing power, but despite recent improvements in the financial results of many carriers, airlines remain highly susceptible to macroeconomic and geopolitical factors outside their control.
South American Concentration
Six lessees based in South America accounted for 13% of our lease rental revenues for the year ended December 31, 2014 and five lessees accounted for 13 aircraft totaling 14% of the net book value of our aircraft at December 31, 2014. The region's largest economy, Brazil, has suffered from a stalled economy, which has forced a reduction in capacity by the country's airlines.
Middle East and African Concentration
Three lessees based in the Middle East and Africa accounted for 9% of our lease rental revenues for the year ended December 31, 2014 and two lessees accounted for six aircraft totaling 10% of the net book value of our aircraft at December 31, 2014. Middle Eastern, and particularly Gulf-based carriers, have a large number of aircraft on order and continue to capitalize on the region’s favorable geographic position as an East-West transfer hub. In recent years, a number of countries in the Middle East and North Africa experienced significant political instability, negatively impacting tourism and air travel. Continued unrest and instability would again negatively impact the financial performance of airlines operating to, from, and within this region.
South African Airways accounted for 5% of our lease rental revenues for the year ended December 31, 2014 and accounted for four aircraft totaling 5% of the net book value of our aircraft at December 31, 2014. South African Airways relies upon government support for its significant capital requirements.
Risks Related to the Aviation Industry
Fuel prices significantly impact the profitability of the airline industry. If fuel prices rise in the future, our lessees might not be able to meet their lease payment obligations, which would have an adverse effect on our financial results and growth prospects.
Fuel costs represent a major expense to companies operating within the airline industry. Fuel prices fluctuate widely depending primarily on international market conditions, geopolitical and environmental events and currency/exchange rates. As a result, fuel costs are not within the control of lessees and significant changes would materially affect their operating results.
Due to the competitive nature of the airline industry, airlines have been, and may continue to be, unable to pass on increases in fuel prices to their customers by increasing fares in a manner that fully compensates for the costs incurred. Higher and more volatile fuel prices may also have an impact on consumer confidence and spending, and thus may adversely impact demand for air transportation. In addition, airlines may not be able to successfully manage their exposure to fuel price fluctuations. If fuel prices increase due to future terrorist attacks, acts of war, armed hostilities, rebellion or political instability, natural disasters or for any other reason, they are likely to cause our lessees to incur higher costs and/or generate lower revenues, resulting in an adverse impact on their financial condition and liquidity. Fuel cost volatility may contribute to the reluctance of airlines to make future commitments to leased aircraft and reduce the demand for lease aircraft. Consequently, these conditions may (i) affect our lessees’ ability to make rental and other lease payments, (ii) result in lease restructurings and/or aircraft repossessions, (iii) increase our costs of re-leasing or selling our aircraft, or; (iv) impair our ability to re-lease or sell our aircraft on a timely basis at favorable rates or terms, or at all.
If the effects of terrorist attacks and geopolitical conditions adversely impact the financial condition of the airlines, our lessees might not be able to meet their lease payment obligations, which would have an adverse effect on our financial results and growth prospects.
War, armed hostilities or terrorist attacks, or the fear of such events, could decrease demand for air travel or increase the operating costs of our customers. The situations in Ukraine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and North Africa remain unsettled and tension over Iran’s nuclear program continues. Other international incidents, such as the recent events in, and the

21

Table of Contents


imposition of further sanctions against North Korea or Russia, may lead to regional or broader international instability. Future terrorist attacks, war or armed hostilities, large protests or government instability, or the fear of such events, could further negatively impact the airline industry and may have an adverse effect on the financial condition and liquidity of our lessees, aircraft values and rental rates and may lead to lease restructurings or aircraft repossessions, all of which could adversely affect our financial results.
Terrorist attacks and geopolitical conditions have negatively affected the airline industry, and concerns about geopolitical conditions and further terrorist attacks could continue to negatively affect airlines (including our lessees) for the foreseeable future, depending upon various factors, including (i) higher costs to the airlines due to the increased security measures; (ii) decreased passenger demand and revenue due to safety concerns or the inconvenience of additional security measures; (iii) the price and availability of jet fuel; (iv) higher financing costs and difficulty in raising the desired amount of proceeds on favorable terms, or at all; (v) the significantly higher costs of aircraft insurance coverage for future claims caused by acts of war, terrorism, sabotage, hijacking and other similar perils, and the extent to which such insurance has been or will continue to be available; (vi) the ability of airlines to reduce their operating costs and conserve financial resources, taking into account the increased costs incurred as a consequence of terrorist attacks and geopolitical conditions, including those referred to above; and (vii) special charges recognized by some airlines, such as those related to the impairment of aircraft and other long lived assets stemming from the above conditions.
Epidemic diseases or their perceived effects may negatively impact the airline industry and our lessees' ability to meet their lease payment obligations to us, which, in turn, could have an adverse effect on our financial results.
Over the past several years, there have been several outbreaks of epidemic diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome ("SARS"), avian influenza, H1N1 influenza, Middle Eastern Respirator Syndrome ("MERS") and, more recently, Ebola, which have spread to other parts of the world. If an outbreak of epidemic diseases were to occur, numerous responses, including travel restrictions, might be necessary to combat the spread of the disease. Even if restrictions are not implemented, it is likely that passengers would voluntarily choose to reduce travel. The 2003 outbreak of SARS was linked to air travel early in its development and reduced sharply passenger demand for air travel at that time. Since then, there have been several outbreaks of epidemic diseases, which have spread to other parts of the world, although their impact was relatively limited. Additional outbreaks of epidemic diseases, or the fear of such events, could result in travel bans or could have an adverse effect on our financial results.
Risks Related to Our Organization and Structure
If the ownership of our common shares continues to be highly concentrated, it may prevent you and other minority shareholders from influencing significant corporate decisions and may result in conflicts of interest.

As of February 6, 2015, Marubeni owns 16,759,233 shares, or 20.7% of our common shares. Although the Shareholder Agreement, dated as of June 6, 2013, among us, Marubeni and a subsidiary of Marubeni (as amended and restated from time to time, the "Shareholder Agreement"), imposes certain restrictions on Marubeni's and its affiliates' ability to make additional acquisitions of our common shares, Marubeni, nonetheless, may be able to influence fundamental corporate matters and transactions, including the election of directors; mergers or amalgamations (subject to prior board approval); consolidations or acquisitions; the sale of all or substantially all of our assets; in certain circumstances, the amendment of our bye-laws; and our winding up and dissolution. This concentration of ownership may delay, deter or prevent acts that would be favored by our other shareholders. The interests of Marubeni may not always coincide with our interests or the interests of our other shareholders. This concentration of ownership may also have the effect of delaying, preventing or deterring a change in control of our company. Also, Marubeni may seek to cause us to take courses of action that, in its judgment, could enhance its investment in us, but which might involve risks to our other shareholders or adversely affect us or our other shareholders. In addition, under the Shareholder Agreement, based on the current ownership of our common shares by Marubeni and the current size of our board of directors, Marubeni is entitled to designate three directors for election to our board of directors. As a result of these or other factors, the market price of our common shares could decline or shareholders might not receive a premium over the then-current market price of our common shares upon a change in control. In addition, this concentration of share ownership may adversely affect the trading price of our common shares because investors may perceive disadvantages in owning shares in a company with a significant shareholder.



22

Table of Contents


We are a holding company with no operations and rely on our operating subsidiaries to provide us with funds necessary to meet our financial obligations.
We are a holding company with no material direct operations. Our principal assets are the equity interests we directly or indirectly hold in our operating subsidiaries. As a result, we are dependent on loans, dividends and other payments from our subsidiaries to generate the funds necessary to meet our financial obligations and to pay dividends to our shareholders. Although there are currently no material legal restrictions on our operating subsidiaries ability to distribute assets to us, legal restrictions, including governmental regulations and contractual obligations, could restrict or impair our operating subsidiaries ability to pay dividends or make loan or other distributions to us. Our subsidiaries are legally distinct from us and may be prohibited or restricted from paying dividends or otherwise making funds available to us under certain conditions.
We are a Bermuda company, and it may be difficult for you to enforce judgments against us or our directors and executive officers.
We are a Bermuda exempted company and, as such, the rights of holders of our common shares will be governed by Bermuda law and our memorandum of association and bye-laws. The rights of shareholders under Bermuda law may differ from the rights of shareholders of companies incorporated in other jurisdictions. A substantial portion of our assets are located outside the United States. As a result, it may be difficult for investors to effect service of process on those persons in the United States or to enforce in the United States judgments obtained in U.S. courts against us or those persons based on the civil liability provisions of the U.S. securities laws. Uncertainty exists as to whether courts in Bermuda will enforce judgments obtained in other jurisdictions, including the United States, against us or our directors or officers under the securities laws of those jurisdictions or entertain actions in Bermuda against us or our directors or officers under the securities laws of other jurisdictions.
Our bye-laws restrict shareholders from bringing legal action against our officers and directors.
Our bye-laws contain a broad waiver by our shareholders of any claim or right of action, both individually and on our behalf, against any of our officers or directors. The waiver applies to any action taken by an officer or director, or the failure of an officer or director to take any action, in the performance of his or her duties, except with respect to any matter involving any fraud or dishonesty on the part of the officer or director. This waiver limits the right of shareholders to assert claims against our officers and directors unless the act or failure to act involves fraud or dishonesty.
We have anti-takeover provisions in our bye-laws that may discourage a change of control.
Our bye-laws contain provisions that could make it more difficult for a third party to acquire us without the consent of our board of directors. These provisions include:
provisions providing for a classified board of directors with staggered three-year terms;
provisions regarding the election of directors, classes of directors, the term of office of directors and amalgamations to be rescinded, altered or amended only upon approval by a resolution of the directors and by a resolution of our shareholders, including the affirmative votes of at least 66% of the votes attaching to all shares in issue entitling the holder to vote on such resolution;
provisions in our bye-laws dealing with the removal of directors and corporate opportunity to be rescinded, altered or amended only upon approval by a resolution of the directors and by a resolution of our shareholders, including the affirmative votes of at least 80% of the votes attaching to all shares in issue entitling the holder to vote on such resolution;
provisions providing for the removal of directors by a resolution, including the affirmative votes of at least 80% of all votes attaching to all shares in issue entitling the holder to vote on such resolution;
provisions providing for our board of directors to determine the powers, preferences and rights of our preference shares and to issue such preference shares without shareholder approval;
provisions providing for advance notice requirements by shareholders for director nominations and actions to be taken at annual meetings; and
no provision for cumulative voting in the election of directors; all the directors standing for election may be elected by our shareholders by a plurality of votes cast at a duly convened annual general meeting, the quorum for which is two or more persons present in person or by proxy at the start of the meeting and representing in excess of 50% of all votes attaching to all shares in issue entitling the holder to vote at the meeting.

23

Table of Contents


In addition, these provisions may make it difficult and expensive for a third party to pursue a tender offer, change in control or takeover attempt that is opposed by our management and/or our board of directors. Public shareholders who might desire to participate in these types of transactions may not have an opportunity to do so. These anti-takeover provisions could substantially impede the ability of public shareholders to benefit from a change in control or change our management and board of directors and, as a result, may adversely affect the market price of our common shares and your ability to realize any potential change of control premium.
There are provisions in our bye-laws that may require certain of our non-U.S. shareholders to sell their shares to us or to a third party.
Our bye-laws provide that if our board of directors determines that we or any of our subsidiaries do not meet, or in the absence of repurchases of shares will fail to meet, the ownership requirements of a limitation on benefits article of any bilateral income tax treaty with the U.S. applicable to us, and that such tax treaty would provide material benefits to us or any of our subsidiaries, we generally have the right, but not the obligation, to repurchase, at fair market value (as determined pursuant to the method set forth in our bye-laws), common shares from any shareholder who beneficially owns more than 5% of our issued and outstanding common shares and who fails to demonstrate to our satisfaction that such shareholder is either a U.S. citizen or a qualified resident of the U.S. or the other contracting state of any applicable tax treaty with the U.S. (as determined for purposes of the relevant provision of the limitation on benefits article of such treaty).
We will have the option, but not the obligation, to purchase all or a part of the shares held by such shareholder (to the extent the board of directors, in the reasonable exercise of its discretion, determines it is necessary to avoid or cure adverse consequences), provided that the board of directors will use its reasonable efforts to exercise this option equitably among similarly situated shareholders (to the extent feasible under the circumstances).
Instead of exercising the repurchase right described above, we will have the right, but not the obligation, to cause the transfer to, and procure the purchase by, any U.S. citizen or a qualified resident of the U.S. or the other contracting state of the applicable tax treaty (as determined for purposes of the relevant provision of the limitation on benefits article of such treaty) of the number of issued and outstanding common shares beneficially owned by any shareholder that are otherwise subject to repurchase under our bye-laws as described above, at fair market value (as determined in the good faith discretion of our board of directors).
The joint venture with Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan may have an adverse effect on our business.
The joint venture we entered into with an affiliate of Teachers', which is referred to in "Other Aviation Assets and Alternative New Business Approaches" above, involves significant risks that may not be present with other methods of ownership, including:
we may not realize a satisfactory return on our investment or the joint venture may divert management's attention from our business;
our joint venture partners could have investment goals that are not consistent with our investment objectives, including the timing, terms and strategies for any investments;
our joint venture partners might fail to fund their share of required capital contributions or fail to fulfill their obligations as a joint venture partner; and
our joint venture partners may have competing interests in our markets that could create conflict of interest issues, particularly if aircraft owned by the joint venture are being marketed for lease or sale at a time when the Company also has comparable aircraft available for lease or sale.

As of February 6, 2015, Teachers' owns 9.7% of our common shares.

Risks Related to Our Common Shares
The market price and trading volume of our common shares may be volatile or may decline regardless of our operating performance, which could result in rapid and substantial losses for our shareholders.
If the market price of our common shares declines significantly, shareholders may be unable to resell their shares at or above their purchase price. The market price or trading volume of our common shares could be highly volatile and may decline significantly in the future in response to various factors, many of which are beyond our control, including:
variations in our quarterly or annual operating results;

24

Table of Contents


failure to meet any earnings estimates;
actual or perceived reduction in our growth or expected future growth;
actual or anticipated accounting issues;
publication of research reports about us, other aircraft lessors or the aviation industry or the failure of securities analysts to cover our common shares or the decision to suspend or terminate coverage in the future;
additions or departures of key management personnel;
increased volatility in the capital markets and more limited or no access to debt financing, which may result in an increased cost of, or less favorable terms for, debt financing or may result in sales to satisfy collateral calls or other pressure on holders to sell our shares;
redemptions, or similar events affecting funds or other investors holding our shares, which may result in large block trades that could significantly impact the price of our common shares;
adverse market reaction to any indebtedness we may incur or preference or common shares we may issue in the future;
changes in or elimination of our dividend;
actions by shareholders;
changes in market valuations of similar companies;
announcements by us, our competitors or our suppliers of significant contracts, acquisitions, disposals, strategic partnerships, joint ventures or capital commitments;
speculation in the press or investment community;
changes or proposed changes in laws or regulations affecting the aviation industry or enforcement of these laws and regulations, or announcements relating to these matters; and
general market, political and economic conditions and local conditions in the markets in which our lessees are located.
In addition, the equity markets in general have frequently experienced substantial price and volume fluctuations that have often been unrelated or disproportionate to the operating performance of companies traded in those markets. Changes in economic conditions in the U.S., Europe or globally could also impact our ability to grow profitably. These broad market and industry factors may materially affect the market price of our common shares, regardless of our business or operating performance. In the past, following periods of volatility in the market price of a company’s securities, securities class-action litigation has often been instituted against that company. Such litigation, if instituted against us, could cause us to incur substantial costs and divert management’s attention and resources, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Future debt, which would be senior to our common shares upon liquidation, and additional equity securities, which would dilute the percentage ownership of our then current common shareholders and may be senior to our common shares for the purposes of dividends and liquidation distributions, may adversely affect the market price of our common shares.
In the future, we may attempt to increase our capital resources by incurring debt or issuing additional equity securities, including commercial paper, medium-term notes, senior or subordinated notes or loans and series of preference shares or common shares. Upon liquidation, holders of our debt investments and preference shares and lenders with respect to other borrowings would receive a distribution of our available assets prior to the holders of our common shares. Additional equity offerings would dilute the holdings of our then current common shareholders and could reduce the market price of our common shares, or both. Preference shares, if issued, could have a preference on liquidating distributions or a preference on dividend payments. Restrictive provisions in our debt and/or preference shares could limit our ability to make a distribution to the holders of our common shares. Because our decision to incur more debt or issue additional equity securities in the future will depend on market conditions and other factors beyond our control, we cannot predict or estimate the amount, timing or nature of our future capital raising activities. Thus, holders of our common shares bear the risk of our future debt and equity issuances reducing the market price of our common shares and diluting their percentage ownership.
The market price of our common shares could be negatively affected by sales of substantial amounts of our common shares in the public markets.

As of February 6, 2015, there were 80,949,815 shares issued and outstanding, all of which are freely transferable, except for any shares held by our “affiliates,” as that term is defined in Rule 144 under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”). Approximately 30% of our outstanding common shares are held by our affiliates and can be resold into the public markets in the future in accordance with the requirements of Rule 144 under the Securities Act.

25

Table of Contents



One affiliate, Marubeni, currently holds 20.7% of our outstanding common shares. Beginning in July 2016, or earlier upon the occurrence of certain events set forth in the Shareholders Agreement, Marubeni and permitted third-party transferees have the ability to cause us to register the resale of their common shares into the public markets. Another investor, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, currently holds approximately 9.7% of our outstanding common shares and has the ability to cause us to register the resale of their common shares into the public markets.

The issuance of additional common shares in connection with acquisitions or otherwise will dilute all other shareholdings.
As of February 6, 2015, we had an aggregate of 153,830,472 common shares authorized but unissued and not reserved for issuance under our incentive plan. We may issue all of these common shares without any action or approval by our shareholders. We intend to continue to actively pursue acquisitions of aviation assets and may issue common shares in connection with these acquisitions. Any common shares issued in connection with our acquisitions, our incentive plan, and the exercise of outstanding share options or otherwise would dilute the percentage ownership held by existing shareholders.
Risks Related to Taxation
If Aircastle were treated as engaged in a trade or business in the United States, it would be subject to U.S. federal income taxation on a net income basis, which would adversely affect our business and result in decreased cash available for distribution to our shareholders.
If, contrary to expectations, Aircastle were treated as engaged in a trade or business in the United States, the portion of its net income, if any, that was “effectively connected” with such trade or business would be subject to U.S. federal income taxation at a maximum rate of 35%. In addition, Aircastle would be subject to the U.S. federal branch profits tax on its effectively connected earnings and profits at a rate of 30%. The imposition of such taxes would adversely affect our business and would result in decreased cash available for distribution to our shareholders.
If there is not sufficient trading in our shares, or if 50% of our shares are held by certain 5% shareholders, we could lose our eligibility for an exemption from U.S. federal income taxation on rental income from our aircraft used in “international traffic” and could be subject to U.S. federal income taxation which would adversely affect our business and result in decreased cash available for distribution to our shareholders.
We expect that we are currently eligible for an exemption under Section 883 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), which provides an exemption from U.S. federal income taxation with respect to rental income derived from aircraft used in international traffic by certain foreign corporations. No assurances can be given that we will continue to be eligible for this exemption as our stock is traded on the market and changes in our ownership or the amount of our shares that are traded could cause us to cease to be eligible for such exemption. To qualify for this exemption in respect of rental income, the lessor of the aircraft must be organized in a country that grants a comparable exemption to U.S. lessors (Bermuda and Ireland each do), and certain other requirements must be satisfied. We can satisfy these requirements in any year if, for more than half the days of such year, our shares are primarily and regularly traded on a recognized exchange and certain shareholders, each of whom owns 5% or more of our shares (applying certain attribution rules), do not collectively own more than 50% of our shares. Our shares will be considered to be primarily and regularly traded on a recognized exchange in any year if (i) the number of trades in our shares effected on such recognized stock exchanges exceed the number of our shares (or direct interests in our shares) that are traded during the year on all securities markets; (ii) trades in our shares are effected on such stock exchanges in more than de minimis quantities on at least 60 days during every calendar quarter in the year; and (iii) the aggregate number of our shares traded on such stock exchanges during the taxable year is at least 10% of the average number of our shares outstanding in that class during that year. If our shares cease to satisfy these requirements, then we may no longer be eligible for the Section 883 exemption with respect to rental income earned by aircraft used in international traffic. If we were not eligible for the exemption under Section 883 of the Code, we expect that the U.S. source rental income of Aircastle Bermuda generally would be subject to U.S. federal taxation, on a gross income basis, at a rate of not in excess of 4% as provided in Section 887 of the Code. If, contrary to expectations, Aircastle Bermuda did not comply with certain administrative guidelines of the Internal Revenue Service, such that 90% or more of Aircastle Bermuda’s U.S. source rental income were attributable to the activities of personnel based in the United States, Aircastle Bermuda’s U.S. source rental income would be treated as income effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business in the United States. In such case, Aircastle Bermuda’s U.S. source rental income would be subject to U.S. federal income taxation on its net income at a maximum rate of 35% as well as state and local taxation. In addition, Aircastle Bermuda would be subject to the U.S. federal branch profits tax on its effectively connected earnings and profits

26

Table of Contents


at a rate of 30%. The imposition of such taxes would adversely affect our business and would result in decreased cash available for distribution to our shareholders.
One or more of our Irish subsidiaries could fail to qualify for treaty benefits, which would subject certain of their income to U.S. federal income taxation, which would adversely affect our business and result in decreased cash available for distribution to our shareholders.
Qualification for the benefits of the double tax treaty between the United States and Ireland (the “Irish Treaty”) depends on many factors, including being able to establish the identity of the ultimate beneficial owners of our common shares. Each of the Irish subsidiaries may not satisfy all the requirements of the Irish Treaty and thereby may not qualify each year for the benefits of the Irish Treaty or may be deemed to have a permanent establishment in the United States. Moreover, the provisions of the Irish Treaty may change. Failure to so qualify, or to be deemed to have a permanent establishment in the United States, could result in the rental income from aircraft used for flights within the United States being subject to increased U.S. federal income taxation. The imposition of such taxes would adversely affect our business and would result in decreased cash available for distribution to our shareholders.
We may become subject to an increased rate of Irish taxation which would adversely affect our business and would result in decreased earnings available for distribution to our shareholders.
Our Irish subsidiaries and affiliates are expected to be subject to corporation tax on their income from leasing, managing and servicing aircraft at the 12.5% tax rate applicable to trading income. This expectation is based on certain assumptions, including that we will maintain at least the current level of our business operations in Ireland. If we are not successful in achieving trading status in Ireland, the income of our Irish subsidiaries and affiliates will be subject to corporation tax at the 25% rate applicable to non-trading activities, which would adversely affect our business and would result in decreased earnings available for distribution to our shareholders.
We may be subject to an increased rate of Singapore taxation which would adversely affect our business and would result in decreased earnings available for distribution to our shareholders.

Our Singapore subsidiaries are subject to Singapore income tax on their income from leasing, managing and servicing aircraft.  Singapore's authorities have awarded our Singapore subsidiaries a reduced rate of tax until July 2017, provided that we satisfy certain conditions and requirements. If we cannot meet such conditions and requirements, or if the award is not renewed, we would be subject to additional Singapore income tax.  This would adversely affect our business and would result in decreased earnings available for distribution to our shareholders.
We may become subject to income or other taxes in the non-U.S. jurisdictions in which our aircraft operate, where our lessees are located or where we perform certain services which would adversely affect our business and result in decreased cash available for distributions to shareholders.
Certain Aircastle entities are expected to be subject to the income tax laws of Ireland, Mauritius, Singapore and the United States. In addition, we may be subject to income or other taxes in other jurisdictions by reason of our activities and operations, where our aircraft operate or where the lessees of our aircraft (or others in possession of our aircraft) are located. Although we have adopted operating procedures to reduce the exposure to such taxation, we may be subject to such taxes in the future and such taxes may be substantial. In addition, if we do not follow separate operating guidelines relating to managing a portion of our aircraft portfolio through offices in Ireland and Singapore, income from aircraft not owned in such jurisdictions would be subject to local tax. Changes in tax law could impose withholding taxes on lease payments during the term of a lease. Our leases typically require our lessees to indemnify us in respect of taxes but some leases may not require such indemnification or a lessee may fail to make such indemnification payment. The imposition of such taxes could adversely affect our business and result in decreased earnings available for distribution to our shareholders.
We expect to continue to be a passive foreign investment company (“PFIC”) and may be a controlled foreign corporation (“CFC”), for U.S. federal income tax purposes.
We expect to continue to be treated as a PFIC and may be a CFC for U.S. federal income tax purposes. If you are a U.S. person and do not make a qualified electing fund (“QEF”) election with respect to us and each of our PFIC subsidiaries, unless we are a CFC and you own 10% of our voting shares, you would be subject to special deferred tax and interest charges with respect to certain distributions on our common shares, any gain realized on a disposition of our common shares and certain other events. The effect of these deferred tax and interest charges could be materially adverse to you. Alternatively,

27

Table of Contents


if you are such a shareholder and make a QEF election for us and each of our PFIC subsidiaries, or if we are a CFC and you own 10% or more of our voting shares, you will not be subject to those charges, but could recognize taxable income in a taxable year with respect to our common shares in excess of any distributions that we make to you in that year, thus giving rise to so-called “phantom income” and to a potential out-of-pocket tax liability.
Distributions made to a U.S. person that is an individual will not be eligible for taxation at reduced tax rates generally applicable to dividends paid by certain United States corporations and “qualified foreign corporations” on or after January 1, 2003. The more favorable rates applicable to regular corporate dividends could cause individuals to perceive investment in our shares to be relatively less attractive than investment in the shares of other corporations, which could adversely affect the value of our shares.

ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
None.

ITEM 2. PROPERTIES
We lease approximately 19,200 square feet of office space in Stamford, Connecticut for our corporate operations. The lease for the Stamford facility expires in December, 2022. We lease approximately 3,380 square feet of office space in Dublin, Ireland for our acquisition, aircraft leasing and asset management operations in Europe. The lease for the Irish facility expires in June 2016. We lease approximately 2,600 square feet of office space in Singapore for our acquisition, aircraft leasing and asset management operations in Asia. The lease for the Singapore facility expires in July 2016.
We believe our current facilities are adequate for our current needs and that suitable additional space will be available as and when needed.

ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
The Company is not a party to any material legal or adverse regulatory proceedings.

ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES
Not applicable.

Executive Officers of the Registrant
Executive officers are elected by our board of directors, and their terms of office continue until the next annual meeting of the board or until their successors are elected and have been duly qualified. There are no family relationships among our executive officers.
Set forth below is information pertaining to our executive officers who held office as of February 6, 2015:
Ron Wainshal, 50 , became our Chief Executive Officer in May 2005 and a member of our Board in May 2010. Prior to joining Aircastle, Mr. Wainshal was in charge of the Asset Management group of General Electric Capital Aviation Services (“GECAS”) from 2003 to 2005. After joining GECAS in 1998, Ron led many of GECAS’ U.S. airline restructuring efforts and its bond market activities, and played a major marketing and structured finance role in the Americas. Before joining GECAS, he was a principal and co-owner of a financial advisory company specializing in transportation infrastructure from 1994 to 1998 and prior to that held positions at Capstar Partners and The Transportation Group in New York and Ryder System in Miami. He received a BS in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth Graduate School of Business. Mr. Wainshal is a director of Everyware Global, Inc.
Michael Inglese, 53, became our Chief Financial Officer in April 2007. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Inglese served as an Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of PanAmSat Holding Corporation, where he served as

28

Table of Contents


Chief Financial Officer from June 2000 until the closing of PanAmSat’s sale to Intelsat in July 2006. Mr. Inglese joined PanAmSat in May 1998 as Vice President, Finance after serving as Chief Financial Officer for DIRECTV Japan, Inc. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst who holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Rutgers University College of Engineering and his MBA from Rutgers Graduate School of Business Management.
Michael Kriedberg , 53, became our Chief Commercial Officer in April 2013. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Kriedberg served as an Executive Vice President, Aviation Financing Operations of GECAS from August 2009. From January 2008 to August 2009, Mr. Kriedberg was the Chief Investment Officer of GE Capital Corporation (“GECC”) and President of the Bank Loan Group division of GECC from August 2006 to January 2008. Mr. Kriedberg holds a bachelor degree in Economics from SUNY Albany and a Master’s degree in Accounting from Pace University.
Christopher L. Beers , 50 , became our General Counsel in November 2014. Prior to joining Aircastle, Mr. Beers held senior positions at GE Capital since 2000, including Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel at GECAS from 2009 to 2014, and Senior Vice President and General Counsel of GE Transportation Finance from 2006 to 2009.  Previously, Mr. Beers was a Senior Associate at the law firm of Milbank Tweed Hadley and McCloy in New York City.  Mr. Beers holds a BS in Economics from Arizona State University and a JD from Pace Law School.
Joseph Schreiner, 57, became our Executive Vice President, Technical in October 2004. Prior to joining Aircastle, Mr. Schreiner oversaw the technical department at AAR Corp, a provider of products and services to the aviation and defense industries from 1998 to 2004 where he managed aircraft and engine evaluations and inspections, aircraft lease transitions, reconfiguration and heavy maintenance. Prior to AAR, Mr. Schreiner spent 19 years at Boeing (McDonnell-Douglas) in various technical management positions. Mr. Schreiner received a BS from the University of Illinois and an MBA from Pepperdine University.
Aaron Dahlke, 46, became our Chief Accounting Officer in June 2005. Prior to that, Mr. Dahlke was Vice President and Controller of Boullioun Aviation Services Inc. from January 2003 to May 2005. Prior to Boullioun, Mr. Dahlke was at ImageX.com, Inc. and Ernst & Young LLP. He received a B.S. in Accounting from California State University, San Bernardino. He is a Certified Public Accountant.

29

Table of Contents


PART II
ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTER AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
Our common shares are listed for trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “AYR.” As of February 6, 2015, there were approximately 20,710 record holders of our common shares.
The following table sets forth the quarterly high and low prices of our common shares on the New York Stock Exchange for the periods indicated since our initial public offering and dividends during such periods:
 
High
 
Low
 
Dividends
Declared  Per
Share ($)
Year Ending December 31, 2013:
 
 
 
 
 
First Quarter
$
14.20

 
$
12.43

 
$
0.165

Second Quarter
$
16.29

 
$
12.89

 
$
0.165

Third Quarter
$
18.12

 
$
15.94

 
$
0.165

Fourth Quarter
$
19.50

 
$
17.02

 
$
0.200

 
 
 
 
 
 
Year Ending December 31, 2014:
 
 
 
 
 
First Quarter
$
20.07

 
$
17.82

 
$
0.200

Second Quarter
$
19.49

 
$
16.38

 
$
0.200

Third Quarter
$
19.55

 
$
16.36

 
$
0.200

Fourth Quarter
$
21.58

 
$
15.73

 
$
0.220

Our ability to pay, maintain or increase cash dividends to our shareholders is subject to the discretion of our board of directors and will depend on many factors, including the difficulty we may experience in raising capital in a market that has experienced significant volatility in recent years and our ability to finance our aircraft acquisition commitments; our ability to negotiate favorable lease and other contractual terms; the level of demand for our aircraft; the economic condition of the commercial aviation industry generally; the financial condition and liquidity of our lessees; the lease rates we are able to charge and realize; our leasing costs; unexpected or increased expenses; the level and timing of capital expenditures; principal repayments and other capital needs; the value of our aircraft portfolio; our compliance with loan to value, debt service coverage, interest rate coverage and other financial covenants in our financings; our results of operations, financial condition and liquidity; general business conditions; restrictions imposed by our securitizations or other financings; legal restrictions on the payment of dividends, including a statutory dividend test and other limitations under Bermuda law; and other factors that our board of directors deems relevant. Some of these factors are beyond our control and a change in any such factor could affect our ability to pay dividends on our common shares. In the future we may not choose to pay dividends or may not be able to pay dividends, maintain our current level of dividends, or increase them over time. Increases in demand for our aircraft and operating lease payments may not occur and may not increase our actual cash available for dividends to our common shareholders. The failure to maintain or pay dividends may adversely affect our share price.

30

Table of Contents


Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
During the fourth quarter of 2014, we purchased our common shares as follows: 
Period
Total
Number
of Shares
Purchased
 
Average
Price
Paid
per Share
 
Total Number of
Shares Purchased
as Part of Publicly
Announced Plans
or Programs (a)
 
Maximum
Number (or
Approximate
Dollar Value) of
Shares that May
Yet Be Purchased
Under the Plans or
Programs (a)
 
(Dollars in thousands, except per share amounts)
October
10,970

(b)  
$
0.01

 

 
$
100,000,000

November

  

 

 
100,000,000

December

 

 

 
100,000,000

Total
10,970

  
$
0.01

 

 
$
100,000,000

 
______________

(a) On October 31, 2014, our Board of Directors authorized the repurchase of $100.0 million of the Company's common shares.
(b) Reflects the repurchase of unvested common shares from two former employees of the Company.

Performance Graph
The following stock performance graph shall not be deemed “filed” with the SEC or subject to Section 18 of the Exchange Act, nor shall it be deemed incorporated by reference in any of our filings under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.
The following graph compares the cumulative five year total return to holders of our common shares relative to the cumulative total returns of the S&P 500 Index and a customized peer group over the five year period ended December 31, 2014. The peer group consists of three companies: AerCap Holdings NV (NYSE: AER), Air Lease Corporation (NYSE: AL) and FLY Leasing Limited (NYSE: FLY). An investment of $100 (with reinvestment of all dividends) is assumed to have been made in our common shares, the S&P 500 Index and in the peer group on December 31, 2009, and the relative performance of each is tracked through December 31, 2014. The stock performance shown on the graph below represents historical stock performance and is not necessarily indicative of future stock price performance.


31

Table of Contents



* $100 invested on 12/31/09 in stock or index, including reinvestment of dividends.

 
12/31/09
 
12/31/10
 
12/31/11
 
12/31/12
 
12/31/13
 
12/31/14
Aircastle Limited
$
100.00

 
$
110.74

 
$
140.95

 
$
146.26

 
$
233.42

 
$
271.76

S&P 500
100.00

 
115.06

 
117.49

 
136.30

 
180.44

 
205.14

Peer Group
100.00

 
157.64

 
130.10

 
134.32

 
264.23

 
274.37


32

Table of Contents


ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
The selected historical consolidated financial, operating and other data as of December 31, 2013 and 2014 and for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2014 presented in this table are derived from our audited consolidated financial statements and related notes thereto appearing elsewhere in this Annual Report. The selected consolidated financial data as of December 31, 2010 and 2011 presented in this table are derived from our audited consolidated financial statements and related notes thereto, which are not included in this Annual Report. You should read these tables along with Item 7. “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and our consolidated financial statements and the related notes thereto included elsewhere in this Annual Report. 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
2010
 
2011
 
2012
 
2013
 
2014
 
(Dollars in thousands, except share data)
Selected Financial Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Consolidated Statements of Operation:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lease rental revenue
$
531,076

 
$
580,209

 
$
623,503

 
$
644,929

 
$
714,654

Total revenues
527,710

 
605,197

 
686,572

 
708,645

 
818,602

Selling, general and administrative expenses
45,774

 
45,953

 
48,370

 
53,436

 
55,773

Depreciation
220,476

 
242,103

 
269,920

 
284,924

 
299,365

Interest, net
178,262

 
204,150

 
222,808

 
243,757

 
238,378

Net income
65,816

 
124,270

 
32,868

 
29,781

 
100,828

Earnings per common share — Basic:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net income
$
0.83

 
$
1.64

 
$
0.46

 
$
0.40

 
$
1.25

Earnings per common share — Diluted:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net income
$
0.83

 
$
1.64

 
$
0.46

 
$
0.40

 
$
1.25

Cash dividends declared per share
$
0.40

 
$
0.50

 
$
0.615

 
$
0.695

 
$
0.82

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Operating Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
EBITDA
$
491,231

 
$
594,800

 
$
546,285

 
$
600,088

 
$
658,606

Adjusted EBITDA
506,942

 
607,870

 
647,622

 
717,209

 
792,283

Adjusted net income
82,461

 
144,963

 
57,009

 
59,260

 
167,642

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cash flows provided by operations
$
356,530

 
$
359,377

 
$
427,277

 
$
424,037

 
$
458,786

Cash flows used in investing activities
(541,115
)
 
(445,420
)
 
(741,909
)
 
(682,933
)
 
(861,602
)
Cash flows provided by financing activities
281,876

 
141,608

 
637,327

 
295,292

 
(82,141
)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Consolidated Balance Sheet Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cash and cash equivalents
$
239,957

 
$
295,522

 
$
618,217

 
$
654,613

 
$
169,656

Flight equipment held for lease, net of accumulated depreciation
4,065,780

 
4,387,986

 
4,662,661

 
5,044,410

 
5,579,718

Net investment in finance leases

 

 
119,951

 
145,173

 
106,651

Total assets
4,859,059

 
5,224,459

 
5,812,160

 
6,251,893

 
6,227,013

Borrowings under Senior Notes, securitizations and term debt financings
2,707,958

 
2,986,516

 
3,598,676

 
3,737,362

 
3,796,454

Shareholders’ equity
1,342,718

 
1,404,608

 
1,415,626

 
1,645,407

 
1,720,335

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Number of Aircraft (at the end of period)
136

 
144

 
159

 
162

 
148

Total debt to total capitalization
66.9
%
 
68.0
%
 
71.8
%
 
69.4
%
 
68.8
%
Total unencumbered assets
$
834,604

 
$
972,471

 
$
2,709,915

 
$
3,309,821

 
$
3,510,588


33

Table of Contents


We define EBITDA as income (loss) from continuing operations before income taxes, interest expense, and depreciation and amortization. We use EBITDA to assess our consolidated financial and operating performance, and we believe this non-US GAAP measure is helpful in identifying trends in our performance. This measure provides an assessment of controllable expenses and affords management the ability to make decisions which are expected to facilitate meeting current financial goals as well as achieving optimal financial performance. It provides an indicator for management to determine if adjustments to current spending decisions are needed. EBITDA provides us with a measure of operating performance because it assists us in comparing our operating performance on a consistent basis as it removes the impact of our capital structure (primarily interest charges on our outstanding debt) and asset base (primarily depreciation and amortization) from our operating results. Accordingly, this metric measures our financial performance based on operational factors that management can impact in the short-term, namely the cost structure, or expenses, of the organization. EBITDA is one of the metrics used by senior management and the board of directors to review the consolidated financial performance of our business.
We define Adjusted EBITDA as EBITDA (as defined above) further adjusted to give effect to adjustments required in calculating covenant ratios and compliance as that term is defined in the indenture governing our senior unsecured notes. Adjusted EBITDA is a material component of these covenants.
The table below shows the reconciliation of net income to EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA for the years ended December 31, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
2010
 
2011
 
2012
 
2013
 
2014
 
(Dollars in thousands)
Net income
$
65,816

 
$
124,270

 
$
32,868

 
$
29,781

 
$
100,828

Depreciation
220,476

 
242,103

 
269,920

 
284,924

 
299,365

Amortization of net lease premiums (discounts) and lease incentives
20,081

 
16,445

 
12,844

 
32,411

 
6,172

Interest, net
178,262

 
204,150

 
222,808

 
243,757

 
238,378

Income tax provision
6,596

 
7,832

 
7,845

 
9,215

 
13,863

     EBITDA
$
491,231

 
$
594,800

 
$
546,285

 
$
600,088

 
$
658,606

Adjustments:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  Impairment of aircraft
7,342

 
6,436

 
96,454

 
117,306

 
93,993

  Loss on extinguishment of debt

 

 

 

 
36,570

  Non-cash share based payment expense
7,509

 
5,786

 
4,232

 
4,569

 
4,244

  Loss (gain) on mark to market of interest rate derivative contracts
860

 
848

 
(597
)
 
(4,754
)
 
(1,130
)
  Contract termination expense

 

 
1,248

 

 

     Adjusted EBITDA
$
506,942

 
$
607,870

 
$
647,622

 
$
717,209

 
$
792,283

Management believes that Adjusted Net Income ("ANI") when viewed in conjunction with the Company's results under US GAAP and the below reconciliation, provides useful information about operating and period-over-period performance, and provides additional information that is useful for evaluating the underlying operating performance of our business without regard to periodic reporting elements related to interest rate derivative accounting.

34

Table of Contents


The table below shows the reconciliation of net income to ANI for the years ended December 31, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
2010
 
2011
 
2012
 
2013
 
2014
 
(Dollars in thousands)
Net income
$
65,816

 
$
124,270

 
$
32,868

 
$
29,781

 
$
100,828

Loss on extinguishment of debt (2)

 

 

 

 
36,570

Ineffective portion and termination of cash flow hedges (1)
5,805

 
8,407

 
2,893

 
2,393

 
660

Loss (gain) on mark to market of interest rate derivative contracts (2)
860

 
848

 
(597
)
 
(4,754
)
 
(1,130
)
Loan termination payment (1)

 
3,196

 

 
2,954

 

Write-off of deferred financing fees (1)
2,471

 
2,456

 
3,034

 
3,975

 

     Stock compensation expense (3)
7,509

 
5,786

 
4,232

 
4,569

 
4,244

     Term Financing No. 1 hedge loss amortization charges (1)

 

 
13,331

 
17,843

 
14,854

     Securitization No. 1 hedge loss amortization charges (1)

 

 

 
2,499

 
11,616

     Contract termination expense

 

 
1,248

 

 

Adjusted net income
$
82,461

 
$
144,963

 
$
57,009

 
$
59,260

 
$
167,642

_____________

(1)
Included in Interest, net.
(2)
Included in Other income (expense)
(3)
Included in Selling, general and administrative expenses

35

Table of Contents


ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
This management’s discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. You should read the following discussion in conjunction with Item 6 — “Selected Financial Data” and our historical consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto appearing elsewhere in this report. The results of operations for the periods reflected herein are not necessarily indicative of results that may be expected for future periods, and our actual results may differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including but not limited to those described under Item 1A. — “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this report. Please see “Safe Harbor Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995” for a discussion of the uncertainties, risks and assumptions associated with these statements. Our consolidated financial statements are prepared in accordance with US GAAP and, unless otherwise indicated, the other financial information contained in this report has also been prepared in accordance with US GAAP. Unless otherwise indicated, all references to “dollars” and “$” in this report are to, and all monetary amounts in this report are presented in, U.S. dollars.

OVERVIEW
We acquire, lease, and sell commercial jet aircraft with large, global operator bases and long useful lives. As of December 31, 2014, our aircraft portfolio consisted of 148 aircraft that were leased to 54 lessees located in 34 countries. We also may occasionally make investments in other aviation assets, including debt investments secured by commercial jet aircraft. Our aircraft fleet is managed by an experienced team based in the United States, Ireland and Singapore. As of December 31, 2014 , the net book value of our flight equipment and finance lease aircraft was $5.69 billion compared to $5.19 billion at the end of 2013. Our revenues and net income for the year ended December 31, 2014 were $818.6 million and $100.8 million respectively, and for the fourth quarter 2014 were $238.3 million and $72.8 million , respectively.
Revenues
Our revenues are comprised primarily of operating lease rentals on flight equipment held for lease, revenue from retained maintenance payments related to lease expirations, lease termination payments, lease incentive amortization and interest recognized from finance leases.
Typically, our aircraft are subject to net leases whereby the lessee pays lease rentals and is generally responsible for maintaining the aircraft and paying operational, maintenance and insurance costs arising during the term of the lease. Our aircraft lease agreements generally provide for the periodic payment of a fixed amount of rent over the life of the lease and the amount of the contracted rent will depend upon the type, age, specification and condition of the aircraft and market conditions at the time the lease is committed. The amount of rent we receive will depend on a number of factors, including the credit-worthiness of our lessees and the occurrence of delinquencies, restructurings and defaults. Our lease rental revenues are also affected by the extent to which aircraft are off-lease and our ability to remarket aircraft that are nearing the end of their leases in order to minimize their off-lease time. Our success in re-leasing aircraft is affected by market conditions relating to our aircraft and by general industry conditions and trends. An increase in the percentage of off-lease aircraft or a reduction in lease rates upon remarketing would negatively impact our revenues.
Under an operating lease, the lessee will be responsible for performing maintenance on the relevant aircraft and will typically be required to make payments to us for heavy maintenance, overhaul or replacement of certain high-value components of the aircraft. These maintenance payments are based on hours or cycles of utilization or on calendar time, depending upon the component, and would be made either monthly in arrears or at the end of the lease term. For maintenance payments made monthly in arrears during a lease term, we will typically be required to reimburse all or a portion of these payments to the lessee upon their completion of the relevant heavy maintenance, overhaul or parts replacement. We record maintenance payments paid by the lessee during a lease as accrued maintenance liabilities in recognition of our obligation in the lease to refund such payments, and therefore we do not recognize maintenance revenue during the lease. Maintenance revenue recognition would occur at the end of a lease, when we are able to determine the amount, if any, by which reserve payments received exceed the amount we are required under the lease to reimburse to the lessee for heavy maintenance, overhaul or parts replacement. The amount of maintenance revenue we recognize in any reporting period is inherently volatile and is dependent upon a number of factors, including the timing of lease expiries, including scheduled and unscheduled expiries, the timing of maintenance events and the utilization of the aircraft by the lessee.

36

Table of Contents


Many of our leases contain provisions which may require us to pay a portion of the lessee's costs for heavy maintenance, overhaul or replacement of certain high-value components. We account for these expected payments as lease incentives, which are amortized as a reduction of revenue over the life of the lease. We estimate the amount of our portion for such costs, typically for the first major maintenance event for the airframe, engines, landing gear and auxiliary power units, expected to be paid to the lessee based on assumed utilization of the related aircraft by the lessee, the anticipated cost of the maintenance event and the estimated amounts the lessee is responsible to pay.
This estimated lease incentive is not recognized as a lease incentive liability at the inception of the lease. We recognize the lease incentive as a reduction of lease revenue on a straight-line basis over the life of the lease, with the offset being recorded as a lease incentive liability which is included in maintenance payments on the balance sheet. The payment to the lessee for the lease incentive liability is first recorded against the lease incentive liability and any excess above the lease incentive liability is recorded as a prepaid lease incentive asset which is included in other assets on the balance sheet and continues to amortize over the remaining life of the lease.
Operating Expenses

Operating expenses are comprised of depreciation of flight equipment held for lease, interest expense, selling, general and administrative expenses, aircraft impairment charges and maintenance and other costs. Because our operating lease terms generally require the lessee to pay for operating, maintenance and insurance costs, our portion of maintenance and other costs relating to aircraft reflected in our statement of income primarily relates to expenses for unscheduled lease terminations.
Income Tax Provision
We have obtained an assurance from the Minister of Finance of Bermuda under the Exempted Undertakings Tax Protection Act 1966 that, in the event that any legislation is enacted in Bermuda imposing any tax computed on profits or income, or computed on any capital asset, gain or appreciation or any tax in the nature of estate duty or inheritance tax, such tax shall not, until March 2035, be applicable to us or to any of our operations or to our shares, debentures or other obligations except insofar as such tax applies to persons ordinarily resident in Bermuda or to any taxes payable by us in respect of real property owned or leased by us in Bermuda. Consequently, the provision for income taxes recorded relates to income earned by certain subsidiaries of the Company which are located in, or earn income in, jurisdictions that impose income taxes, primarily Ireland, Singapore and the United States.
All of our aircraft-owning subsidiaries that are recognized as corporations for U.S. tax purposes are non-U.S. corporations. These non-U.S. subsidiaries generally earn income from sources outside the United States and typically are not subject to U.S. federal, state or local income taxes, unless they operate within the U.S., in which case they may be subject to federal, state and local income taxes. The aircraft owning subsidiaries resident in Ireland, Mauritius and Singapore are subject to tax in those respective jurisdictions.
We have a U.S.-based subsidiary which provides management services to our non-U.S. subsidiaries and is subject to U.S. federal, state and local income taxes. We also have Ireland and Singapore based subsidiaries which provide management services to our non-U.S. subsidiaries and are subject to tax in those respective jurisdictions.
Segments

We operate in one segment.
Acquisitions and Sales
During 2014, we acquired 35 aircraft for $1.77 billion, including 21 aircraft for $749.2 million during the fourth quarter. Approximately 74% of our 2014 acquisitions by value were aircraft less than five years old that are on long term leases with relatively strong operators. Additionally, we acquired $467.4 million in mid-aged narrow-body aircraft, including a 12 aircraft purchase and lease-back transaction with a major European flag carrier. In many cases, we believe we were successful in winning business due to our ability to move quickly and reliably given our cash resources and team strengths.
At December 31, 2014, we had commitments to acquire 16 aircraft for $686.0 million, including four 777-300ER aircraft which were part of our previously announced purchase/lease-back transaction with LATAM. Our commitment to acquire the LATAM 777 aircraft expired in January 2015, as the airline was unable to economically unwind its existing financings for these aircraft. As of February 6, 2015, after taking into account two aircraft acquisitions for $119.0 million

37

Table of Contents


thus far in 2015, we now have commitments to acquire 11 aircraft for $298.8 million that we expect to complete by June 30, 2015.
During 2014, we sold 47 aircraft for $833.0 million, which resulted in a net gain of $23.1 million. We repaid debt associated with this flight equipment in the amount of $50.2 million.
Nineteen of our 2014 dispositions were "exit sales" of aircraft nearing the end of their economic lives. Exit sales usually follow from a determination that the best economic decision for an aircraft is to sell it as it reaches lease expiry rather than to reinvest and enable a follow-on lease. In most cases, exit sales aircraft involved older generation technology; the average age of these aircraft was 22 years.
We consider 25 of our aircraft sales as "opportunistic" as they were intended to capture strong market demand and enabled us to realize gains. They generally represent situations where we believe we can deploy our capital more efficiently by reinvesting in other assets. These opportunistic asset sales were a mix of mid-aged narrow-body and wide-body aircraft with an average age of 16.4 years.
We also sold three relatively new aircraft to our joint venture with Teachers’ which are included in the “opportunistic” category in the table below. More specifically, our sales to the Teachers’ joint venture consisted of two Boeing 777-300ER aircraft leased to LATAM and Thai Airways, respectively, and one Embraer E195 aircraft leased to Azul Airlines. We utilize this joint venture vehicle to enable us to pursue larger transactions and to manage exposure concentrations.
Finally, as part of our strategy to reduce our freighter fleet, we classified two older 747-400 converted freighter aircraft as “Flight Equipment Held for Sale” during 2014. One of these aircraft was sold in January 2015 and the other is under a consignment contract and is under a consignment contract and is in the process of being parted out.
(Dollars in thousands)
 
Number of Aircraft
 
Maintenance Revenue
 
Lease Incentive Revenue (1)
 
Gain (Loss) on Sale of Flight Equipment
 
Impairment
 
Pre-tax Impact
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Opportunistic sales
 
28

 
$
3,171

 
$

 
$
38,363

 
$

 
$
41,534

Exit Sales
 
19

 
56,129

 
776

 
(15,217
)
 
(24,940
)
 
16,748

  Total Sales
 
47

 
59,300

 
776

 
23,146

 
(24,940
)
 
58,282

Freighters Held for Sale (2)
 
2

 
9,137

 
$
3,626

 

 
(30,877
)
 
(18,114
)
   Total
 
49

 
$
68,437

 
$
4,402

 
$
23,146

 
$
(55,817
)
 
$
40,168

_______________
(1) Included in Amortization of lease premiums, discounts and lease incentives on our consolidated statement of income.
(2) Included in Flight equipment held for sale in Other assets on our consolidated balance sheet.



38

Table of Contents


The following table sets forth certain information with respect to the aircraft owned by us as of December 31, 2012, 2013 and 2014:
AIRCASTLE AIRCRAFT INFORMATION (dollars in millions)  
 
Owned
Aircraft as of
December 31, 2012 (1)
 
Owned
Aircraft as of
December 31, 2013 (1)
 
Owned
Aircraft as of
December 31, 2014
(1)
Flight Equipment Held for Lease
$
4,783

 
$
5,190

 
$
5,686

Unencumbered Flight Equipment included in Flight Equipment Held for Lease
$
2,092

 
$
2,655

 
$
3,341

Number of Aircraft
159

 
162

 
148

Number of Unencumbered Aircraft
72

 
80

 
95

Number of Lessees
69

 
64

 
54

Number of Countries
36

 
37

 
34

Weighted Average Age — Passenger (years) (2)
10.5

 
9.2

 
7.6

Weighted Average Age — Freighter (years) (2)
11.1

 
13.0

 
12.7

Weighted Average Age — Combined (years) (2)
10.7

 
9.9

 
8.4

Weighted Average Remaining Passenger Lease Term (years) (3)
4.8

 
5.2

 
5.7

Weighted Average Remaining Freighter Lease Term (years) (3)
5.3

 
4.2

 
3.3

Weighted Average Remaining Combined Lease Term (years) (3)
5.0

 
5.0

 
5.4

Weighted Average Fleet Utilization during the Fourth Quarter (4)
99.0
%
 
99.5
%
 
99.9
%
Weighted Average Fleet Utilization for the Year Ended (4)
99.8
%
 
98.7
%
 
99.6
%
Portfolio Yield for the Fourth Quarter (5)
13.7
%
 
13.6
%
 
13.3
%
Portfolio Yield for the Year Ended (5)
13.8
%
 
13.6
%
 
13.3
%
     ____________

(1)
Calculated using net book value of flight equipment held for lease and net investment in finance leases as at period end.
(2)
Weighted average age (years) by net book value.
(3)
Weighted average remaining lease term (years) by net book value.
(4)
Aircraft on-lease days as a percent of total days in period weighted by net book value.
(5)
Lease rental revenue for the period as a percent of the average net book value of flight equipment held for lease for the period.

Our owned aircraft portfolio as of December 31, 2014 is listed in Exhibit 99.1 to this report.

    

39

Table of Contents


PORTFOLIO DIVERSIFICATION
 
Owned Aircraft as of
December 31, 2014
 
Number of
Aircraft
 
% of Net
Book  Value
Aircraft Type
 
 
 
Passenger:
 
 
 
Narrowbody
96

 
36
%
Midbody
29

 
33
%
Widebody
8

 
17
%
Total Passenger
133

 
86
%
Freighter
15

 
14
%
Total
148

 
100
%
 
 
 
 
Manufacturer
 
 
 
Boeing
76

 
51
%
Airbus
67

 
46
%
Embraer
5

 
3
%
Total
148

 
100
%
 
 
 
 
Regional Diversification
 
 
 
Europe
65

 
29
%
Asia and Pacific
46

 
40
%
North America
17

 
7
%
South America
13

 
14
%
Middle East and Africa
6

 
10
%
Off-lease (1)
1

 
%
Total
148

 
100
%
 _______________

(1)
Consists of one Airbus A320-200 aircraft which was subject to a commitment to lease and was delivered to our customer in February 2015.




40

Table of Contents


Our largest customer represents 7% of the net book value of flight equipment held for lease (includes net book value of flight equipment held for lease and net investment in finance leases) at December 31, 2014. Our top 15 customers for aircraft we owned at December 31, 2014, representing 65 aircraft and 62% of the net book value of flight equipment held for lease, are as follows:

Percent of Net Book Value
 
Customer
 
Country
 
Number of
Aircraft
Greater than 6% per customer
 
LATAM
 
Chile
 
3

 
 
Iberia
 
Spain
 
18

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
3% to 6% per customer
 
South African Airways
 
South Africa
 
4

 
 
Thai Airways
 
Thailand
 
2

 
 
Singapore Airlines
 
Singapore
 
4

 
 
Martinair (1)
 
Netherlands
 
5

 
 
Emirates
 
United Arab Emirates
 
2

 
 
Garuda
 
Indonesia
 
4

 
 
Air Asia X
 
Malaysia
 
2

 
 
Virgin Australia
 
Australia
 
2

 
 
AirBridge Cargo (2)
 
Russia
 
2

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Less than 3% per customer
 
Avianca
 
Colombia
 
2

 
 
Jet Airways
 
India
 
6

 
 
Lion Air
 
Indonesia
 
4

 
 
Azul
 
Brazil
 
5

 
 
   Total top 15 customers
 
 
 
65

 
 
All other customers
 
 
 
83

 
 
   Total all customers
 
 
 
148

          

(1) Martinair is a wholly owned subsidiary of Air France-KLM. If combined with one other affiliated customer, the two customers represents 5% of flight equipment held for lease.
(2) Guaranteed by Volga-Dnepr Airlines.
Finance
Aircastle is a publicly listed company that has been trading on the New York Stock Exchange since August 2006. Since our inception in late 2004, we have raised approximately $1.7 billion in equity capital from private and public investors as well as approximately $11.2 billion in debt capital for both growth and refinancing purposes through export credit agency-backed debt, commercial bank debt, the aircraft securitization markets and the unsecured bond market. This debt capital has been sourced from a variety of providers demonstrating our funding expertise and flexibility in adapting to changing capital markets conditions.
We intend to fund new investments through cash on hand, funds generated from operations, maintenance payments received from lessees, secured borrowings for aircraft, draws on our Revolving Credit Facility and proceeds from any future aircraft sales. We may repay all or a portion of such borrowings from time to time with the net proceeds from subsequent long-term debt financings, additional equity offerings or cash generated from operations and asset sales. Therefore, our ability to execute our business strategy, particularly the acquisition of additional commercial jet aircraft or other aviation assets, depends to a significant degree on our ability to obtain additional debt and equity capital on terms we deem attractive.
See “Liquidity and Capital Resources — Secured Debt Financings” and ”Liquidity and Capital Resources — Unsecured Debt Financings” below.


41

Table of Contents


Comparison of the year ended December 31, 2013 to the year ended December 31, 2014:  
 
Year Ended
December 31,
 
2013
 
2014
 
(Dollars in thousands)
Revenues:
 
 
 
Lease rental revenue
$
644,929

 
$
714,654

Finance lease revenue
16,165

 
10,906

Amortization of net lease discounts and lease incentives
(32,411
)
 
(6,172
)
Maintenance revenue (including contra maintenance revenue of $0 and $31,254, respectively)
68,342

 
88,006

Total lease rentals
697,025

 
807,394

Other revenue
11,620

 
11,208

Total revenues
708,645

 
818,602

Expenses:
 
 
 
Depreciation
284,924

 
299,365

Interest, net
243,757

 
238,378

Selling, general and administrative
53,436

 
55,773

Impairment of aircraft
117,306

 
93,993

Maintenance and other costs
13,631

 
7,239

Total operating expenses
713,054

 
694,748

Other income (expense):
 
 
 
Gain on sale of flight equipment
37,220

 
23,146

Loss on extinguishment of debt

 
(36,570
)
Other
6,132

 
1,207

Total other income
43,352

 
(12,217
)
Income from continuing operations before income taxes and earnings of unconsolidated equity method investment
38,943

 
111,637

Income tax provision
9,215

 
13,863

Earnings of unconsolidated equity method investment, net of tax
53

 
3,054

Net income
$
29,781

 
$
100,828


Revenues:
Total revenues increased by 15.5%, or $110.0 million, for the year ended December 31, 2014 as compared to the year ended December 31, 2013, primarily as a result of the following:
Lease rental revenue . The increase in lease rental revenue of $69.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2014 as compared to the same period in 2013 was primarily the result of:
$158.7 million of revenue reflecting the full year impact of 17 aircraft purchased in 2013 and the impact of 34 aircraft purchased in 2014; and
$10.6 million due to lease extensions, amendments and transitions.
This increase was offset partially by a decrease in lease rental revenue of:
$92.4 million due to aircraft sales; and
$7.2 million from the effect of lease terminations and other changes.

Finance lease revenue: For the year ended December 31, 2014, $10.9 million of interest income from finance leases was recognized as compared to $16.2 million of interest income from finance leases recorded for the same period in 2013 due to the sale of six aircraft during the second quarter of 2014.

42

Table of Contents



Amortization of net lease discounts and lease incentives.  
 
Year Ended
December 31,
 
2013
 
2014
 
(Dollars in thousands)
Amortization of lease incentives
$
(25,356
)
 
$
(6,584
)
Amortization of lease premiums
(9,003
)
 
(9,099
)
Amortization of lease discounts
1,948

 
9,511

Amortization of net lease discounts and lease incentives
$
(32,411
)
 
$
(6,172
)
As more fully described above under “Revenues”, lease incentives represent our estimated portion of the lessee’s cost for heavy maintenance, overhaul or replacement of certain high-value components which is amortized over the life of the related lease. As we enter into new leases, the amortization of lease incentives generally increases and, conversely, if a related lease terminates, the related unused lease incentive liability will reduce the amortization of lease incentives. The decrease in amortization of lease incentives of $18.8 million primarily resulted from five unscheduled lease transitions, two scheduled lease transitions and one change in lease incentive estimate as compared with ten unscheduled lease transitions, three scheduled lease transitions, and one change in lease incentive estimate in 2013.
As more fully described above under “Revenues”, lease discounts represent the present value of the amount below current lease rates for acquired aircraft with attached leases. The increase in amortization of lease discounts of $7.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2014 as compared to the same period in 2013 primarily resulted from additional amortization on six aircraft purchased in 2014 and the full year amortization from four aircraft purchased in 2013.

Maintenance revenue.  
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
2013
 
2014
 
Dollars
(in  thousands)
 
Number of
Leases
 
Dollars
(in  thousands)
 
Number of
Leases
Unscheduled lease terminations
$
47,734

 
10

 
$
45,373

 
10

Scheduled lease terminations
20,608

 
7

 
42,633

 
25

Maintenance revenue
$
68,342

 
17

 
$
88,006

 
35

Unscheduled lease terminations. For the year ended December 31, 2014, we recorded maintenance revenue totaling $45.4 million from unscheduled lease terminations primarily associated with ten aircraft returned in 2014. Comparatively, for the same period in 2013, we recorded maintenance revenue totaling $47.7 million from unscheduled lease terminations associated with ten aircraft returned in 2013.
Scheduled lease terminations. For the year ended December 31, 2014, we recorded maintenance revenue from scheduled lease terminations totaling $42.6 million associated with 25 aircraft. Comparatively, for the same period in 2013, we recorded $20.6 million, associated with maintenance revenue from seven scheduled lease terminations.
Other revenue was $11.2 million during the year ended December 31, 2014, which was primarily due to approximately $10.2 million recognized in additional fees paid by lessees in connection with early termination of 14 leases and approximately $1.0 million in administrative fees from the joint venture with Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan. For the year ended December 31, 2013, other revenue was $11.6 million which was primarily due to $1.7 million of interest income on our debt investments and approximately $9.9 million recognized in additional fees paid by lessees in connection with the early termination of 13 leases.



43

Table of Contents


Operating Expenses:
Total operating expenses decreased by 2.6%, or $18.3 million, for the year ended December 31, 2014 as compared to the year ended December 31, 2013 primarily as a result of the following:
Depreciation expense increased by $14.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2014 over the same period in 2013. The net increase is primarily the result of:
a $54.1 million increase in depreciation for aircraft acquired; and
a $3.7 million increase due to changes to asset lives and residual values.