Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), has launched a new aircraft leasing company called Avilease.

Avilease will initially focus on scaling through purchase-and-lease-back transactions with airlines, portfolio acquisitions and direct orders from aircraft manufacturers.

It will also reportedly look into expansions through corporate acquisitions, according to state-run Saudi Press Agency.

The company’s fleet will consist of new-generation narrow- and wide-body aircraft.

PIF said in a statement that Avilease will be managed “by a top-tier team” that will lead its growth, localise knowledge and expertise, and develop the company’s infrastructure, with plans being drawn up for it to become a leader in Saudi’s aircraft leasing market.

It added that the company’s establishment “will contribute to the reduction of value leakage for Saudi Arabia, while enhancing integration into the global aircraft financing market.” It said that Avilease will maintain “an optimal portfolio of assets with its core focus on leasing, trading and asset management services.”

PIF is one of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world. As of the end of Q1 2022, its assets under management reached approximately US$620 billion, across a portfolio spanning 13 strategic sectors in Saudi Arabia and globally.

PIF noted that the launch of Avilease underlines its mandate “to unlock the capabilities of promising sectors locally that can help drive the diversification of the economy and contribute to non-oil GDP growth.”

Since 2017, PIF has established 54 companies and created, directly and indirectly, more than half a million jobs as at the end of 2021.