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Aircastle ready for buyers' market in '16, CEO says

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Aircastle ready for buyers' market in '16, CEO says

Abuyers' market will emerge amid the continued volatility of the global economicenvironment as large movements in energy prices and exchange rates andgeopolitical turbulence continue, according to CEO Ron Wainshal.

"Marketvolatility can be unsettling, but in our view, it is inevitable, and if playedwell, creates fertile ground for cultivating excellent businessopportunities," Wainshal said during an earnings conference call. "Webelieve we're well-positioned to benefit from this shift."

TheCEO said Aircastle is ready to take advantage of the "moreattractive" buying market this year, thanks to its decision to limitlong-term capital commitments and develop its financial flexibility. He saidthe company has nearly $700 million in unsecured financing that it obtainedfrom different sources and more than $300 million possible asset sales, whichwould be useful in its bid to run after good opportunities in the emergingbuyers' market.

"Webelieve broader economic environment will remain turbulent with opportunitiesebbing and flowing, and we remain cautious yet optimistic," the CEO said."As we step back and look back at the market, times like these validateour approach of not having our capital tied up in long-term inflexiblecommitments."

Wainshalsaid Aircastle is always on the lookout for acquisitions that offer good risk/rewardopportunities. However, the majority of the company's acquisitions in 2016 willstill be current generation narrowbody aircraft. He said the company also seesvery good opportunities for purchasing aircraft from other leasing companiesand investors.

Inanticipation of a buyers' market, Wainshal said Aircastle's portfolio will growin 2016, but its selling activity will be considerably lower.