20 November 2013 | Stratos shuns aircraft investments for advisory roles.

Newly launched Stratos is sidestepping the investment market for aviation assets and will focus its time on being an advisor to airlines dealing with ageing fleet issues and sourcing aircraft for investors.

“I think there are enough people killing each other to invest money right now, so Stratos is going to be an advisor rather than a primary investor in this market,” says Stratos’ managing director, Gary Fitzgerald in an interview with flightglobal.

“We think there is a real shortage of good advisors who can provide truly impartial advice on aircraft lease related issues.”

According to Fitzgerald, airlines are “struggling to get decent leaseback deals” on older equipment, and investors are “struggling to find opportunities” outside the major airlines with new aircraft “where everyone is competing”.

Half of the firm’s time will be spent helping airlines deal with legacy fleets and high book values by structuring lease investment vehicles and finding the “most efficient” investors and lenders, he says.

The other half of Stratos’ time, he says, will be focused on helping a “small number of targeted investors” find aircraft with leases attached or to dispose of aircraft with lease attached.

Fitzgerald says the firm is open to “all aviation assets” from narrowbody and widebody aircraft to turboprops and helicopters.

The firm is centred around a team of four aviation financiers across Asia, Europe and the USA, and Fitzgerald say the business will “grow as needed”.

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