vitamin Steven Udvar-Hazy: Farnborough's biggest dealer? -







Farnborough, England ( CNN) - - Spending big to buy airplanes by the dozen is nothing new for Steven Udvar- Hazy: In the last 37 years, the aircraft leasing pioneer has purchased thousands of planes, which were then rented to the majority of the world' s major carriers.

And he did it again this year at the arena of the 47th Farnborough International Airshow. Udvar- Hazy, who last February quit industry leader International Lease Finance Corporation ( ILFC) , has emerged as the biggest buyer at the world' s largest gathering for the aviation industry, placing orders valued in the region of $ 10 billion.

On Monday, his four- month old company, Air Lease Corporation ( ALC) , struck a deal with Airbus for 51 planes of the A320 family, while one day later Hazy' s spending spree continued with the order of up to 60 Next- Generation Boeing 737- 800 models and up to 20 E- 190 jets from Embraer.

Udvar- Hazy' s dynamic comeback at Farnborough has been widely described as one of the most encouraging signs that the recession- battered aviation industry is finally bouncing back. & quot; The airline industry is going to go through a tremendous growth period, & quot; Udvar- Hazy told CNN from Farnborough. & quot; There are parts of the world that are growing in traffic, double digit rates every year. The airlines have to replace a lot of aging aircraft, so we think this is a dynamic business with huge opportunities. & quot; For his new venture, Hazy managed to secure about $ 1. 3 billion of equity capital and $ 2 billion of committed debt financing to fund a series of aircraft acquisitions.

ALC said that it aims to create a fleet of more than 100 commercial jet planes by spring 2011. & quot; His market timing has always been impeccable for ordering, and I sure hope he' s right because we' re ordering some too, & quot; Norm Liu, president and chief executive of General Electric Co. ' s aircraft leasing unit, said in a report. Budapest- born Udvar- Hazy is regarded as one of the most influential figures in commercial air flight and the creator of the multibillion- worth aircraft leasing industry.

In 1973, he founded ILFC, which in the following years grew to become the market' s dominant leasing company.

Udvar- Hazy sold ILFC to AIG in 1990 for $ 1.

3 billion but continued to run it until last February when he stepped down amid ongoing liquidity issues in the wake of the insurer' s near- collapse. However, retirement was not yet an option for the 64- year- old billionaire, who was ranked 363rd on the World' s Richest People list in 2010 by Forbes. & quot; I went home and I was retired for about three hours. And my wife said, ' get out of the house, do something productive. ' So, I formed a new company and we got to work.

And it is very exciting, & quot; he told CNN.

When asked about last February' s events and having to part ties with the company that he created and built into an industry giant, Udvar- Hazy said that there was no other option. & quot; It is tragic, & quot; he asserts. & quot; AIG was a great company, ILFC is a great company, and unfortunately circumstances came about that none of us had control over. I felt the time was right to create a new company that is completely from a clean sheet of paper. And none of these legacy issues of the past. & quot; But for the aviation visionary, who pilots his own Gulfstream V business jet, there is no time for resentment or living in the past. & quot; I' m not bitter, I' m looking forward, & quot; Udvar- Hazy says with a smile. & quot; In aviation we' re all optimists and we all look forward, we can' t look back - - we learn from our experiences but there is no bitterness. & quot;

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