Guggenheim Aviation Partners Ltd, an affiliate of US based asset management company Guggenheim Partners, has opened up its representative office in Singapore. The firm has also appointed Stephen Barnes as Director of Marketing, Asia. Barnes has previously worked for Barclays Bank in India.
Guggenheim Aviation provides services like acquisition, leasing and sale of commercial aircraft and sourcing of secured debt. Readers may recall VCCircle had Guggenheim Partners acquiring the control of the India fund of funds business of Thomas Weisel Partners.
Guggenheim Aviation Partners currently has over $2.7 billion of commercial aviation assets under management, representing a broad range of Boeing and Airbus aircraft on lease to airlines and cargo operators around the world. The affiliate also has a fund called Guggenheim Aviation Investment Fund, which last year closed at $737 million.
Guggenheim is entering the Asian market at tough times for the aviation industry. Indian aviation industry is going through "rightsizing" of fleet as well as staff. Naresh Goyal, promoter of Jet Airways, recently said that there is 30% overcapacity in the Indian aviation market.
The domestic carriers are now expected to bring down their fleet size in order to increase the passenger load factor. India's carriers currently have a fleet of 300 aircraft, which include the fleet of low-cost carriers, and they may bring it down by 60 aircraft, says a report in Business Standard.
This process has begun with India's two biggest airlines, Kingfisher and Jet, which have decided to send back 15 narrow-bodied aircraft. Kingfisher has also sold off two of its five wide-bodied Airbus A340s to Nigeria's Arik Air and three of its wide-bodied Airbus A330s are lying unused.
Guggenheim Aviation will also find a market in India's air cargo business, which has seen entry of quite a few new players. Capt G R Gopinath, founder of India's first and largest low cost airline Air Deccan, is starting his cargo business. Then others like Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines also plan to enter this market. Some other new entrants in the field are New Delhi-based Aryan Cargo Express Pvt. Ltd, Hyderabad-based Flyington Freighters Ltd, Mumbai-based Avicore Aviation Pvt. Ltd and Bangalore-based Quikjet Cargo.