The five most visible and liquid aircraft lease ABS are all very similar in nature, but offer differing levels of value, according to Gus Kelly, senior vice president of debis AirFinance. Each of the five selected transactions were issued prior to Sept. 11, 2001, near or above one billion dollars in size and had similar loan-to-value ratios - approximately 90% - upon pricing.

Another similarity of these deals is that each has experienced ratings downgrades in the two-and-a-half years since the terrorist attacks. EAST was cited as the worst performer, with Airplanes Passthrough Trust and Aircraft Finance Trust close behind.

The quintuple of deals offer a cross-section of which structures have performed and which have not. AerCo and LIFT have seemingly fared well and were cited by Kelly as the "premier deals" of the bunch, with loss rates "around 30%".

AerCo Ltd, however, had all eight outstanding classes of notes downgraded by Fitch Ratings last week. LIFT, meanwhile is reportedly experiencing credit enhancement erosion due to uneconomical swap agreements built into the structure.

"These deals have done pretty well, all things considered," said a source. "The aircraft are currently leased at pre-9/11 rates and eventually will have to re-lease at much lower rates."

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