UK Leasing

Ergo: The war in Ukraine pushes Aer Lingus to the top of the Airbus list

Aer Lingus may have grabbed headlines last week for canceling flights and disappointing thousands of passengers – but its fleet acquisition service remains fully engaged.

It’s an ill wind that doesn’t blow good, and the acquisition team has landed an unexpected windfall for itself thanks to Russian sanctions – in the form of two shiny new planes.

When Vladimir Putin brought his army into Ukraine in March, one of the consequences was that many leased planes (often registered in Ireland) ended up stranded in Russia. But in the case of two brand new Airbus A320neos, the resulting sanctions have come just in time to ensure they will spend the next few years crossing the Irish Sea to London Heathrow rather than the Siberian steppe.

Registered EI-NSA and EI-NSB, the two new planes were originally built by Airbus for delivery to Russian low-cost airline Smartavia in March.

At the beginning of June, the planes were still sporting their purple and orange livery, as delivery to the Russian regional carrier was so imminent.

But Russia’s determination to turn into a pariah state meant that both planes were suddenly available. In step Aer Lingus, arguably more than happy to jump to the top of the delivery queue, to sign a lease with CDB Aviation, the Irish subsidiary of China Development Bank Financial Leasing Co.

A new coat of paint has been applied, along with the regulatory Aer Lingus trefoil – and by the end of July, the pair of 186-seat planes will be ready to enter service.

Trinity Petrohead buys Lola UK racing car assets

The assets of UK-based racing car maker Lola, one of the world’s most prolific builders in its heyday, were bought by Till Bechtolsheimer – a 40-year-old Trinity College-educated British founder from an American investment company. .

Lola’s wind tunnel and technical center in Cambridgeshire, along with other intellectual properties, was previously owned by the late Mayoman Martin Birrane, who died in 2018.

Classic car fan Bechtolsheimer has a former Mercedes F1 engineer on board and will invest in trying to re-establish a role for Lola in non-F1 motor racing, while also exploring battery power and other energy synergies.

€1m rekindles interest in pensions

Revive Active founder Daithí O’Connor’s pension fund is set to get a big boost after the supplement company received a €12.5 million investment from private equity firm BGF.

According to a recent Companies Registry filing, the company behind Revive Active would make a $1 million payment to O’Connor executives’ retirement after the deal closes. It was related to his “considerable and continuous” service to the company, the filing reads.