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Fitch upgrades Aviation Capital, AerCap after peer review

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Fitch upgrades Aviation Capital, AerCap after peer review

Fitch Ratings has taken actions on five publicly ratedaircraft lessors in conjunction with a peer review.

The rating agency raised the long-term issuer default ratingand senior unsecured debt ratings of Pacific Mutual Holding Co. unit to BBBfrom BBB-. The outlook is stable. The upgrade reflects the aircraft lessor'simproved stand-alone financial metrics. Fitch also noted Aviation Capital'sreduced leverage appetite, consistent operating margins and profitabilitymetrics, as well as a favorable funding profile and strong balance sheetflexibility compared with peers.

The rating agency also upgraded the long-term issuer defaultrating and senior unsecured debt ratings of AerCap Holdings NV to BBB- from BB+ and revised theoutlook to stable from positive. Fitch said the action reflects thedeleveraging undertaken by the aircraft lessor after its of Theratings continue to be supported by the strength of the aircraft lessor's scaleand franchise, access to multiple sources of capital, good liquidity and cashflow generation and strong management team.

Fitch has also affirmed Avation plc's B+ long-term issuerdefault rating and B+/RR4 senior unsecured debt rating with a stable outlook;Sumitomo Mitsui Financial GroupInc. unit SMBC Aviation Capital Ltd.'s BBB+ long-term issuerdefault rating with a negative outlook; and Bank of China Ltd. unit BOC Aviation's A- long-termissuer default rating, senior unsecured debt ratings and medium-term noteratings with a stable outlook.

Overall, Fitch said supporting the ratings are the ratedaircraft lessors' generally strong franchise positions, capable managementteams, improving funding positions and aircraft fleet characteristics andacceptable leverage levels relative to assigned ratings. The rating agency alsopointed out that aircraft lessors are benefiting from supportive marketdynamics, including increased air travel, improved financial condition ofairlines, growing adoption of aircraft leasing, low interest rates andgenerally accessible funding markets.