Providing finance when the banks can't

Some prudent financial planning by BOC Aviation's CFO Thim Fatt Phang allowed the company to capitalise on the downturn.
Thim Fatt Phang
Thim Fatt Phang

There were few aviation success stories last year. BOC Aviation was one of them.

The global downturn hit everybody where it hurt -- in the chequebook. Some once-big names declared bankruptcy Japan Airlines this January and losses at others required major state-backed capital infusions China's big three. In total, the International Air Transport Association IATA estimated airlines globally lost $9.4 billion.

While the airline industry bled cash and aircraft financing from banks dried up, Singapore-based BOC Aviation had a record year. In 2009, the company, which leases aircraft to airlines around the world including Australia's Virgin Blue, Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways and the US's Alaska Airlines, bought more aircraft than...

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