Annual and transition report of foreign private issuers pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Summary Of Significant Accounting Policies

Summary Of Significant Accounting Policies
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2011
Summary Of Significant Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Summary Of Significant Accounting Policies

2. Summary of significant accounting policies

Basis for presentation

     Our financial statements are presented in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.

     We consolidate all companies in which we have a direct and indirect legal or effective control and all variable interest entities for which we are deemed the primary beneficiary under ASC 810. All intercompany balances and transactions with consolidated subsidiaries have been eliminated. The results of consolidated entities are included from the effective date of control or, in the case of variable interest entities, from the date that we are or become the primary beneficiary. The results of subsidiaries sold or otherwise deconsolidated are excluded from the date that we cease to control the subsidiary or, in the case of variable interest entities, when we cease to be the primary beneficiary.

     Other investments in which we have the ability to exercise significant influence and joint ventures are accounted for under the equity method of accounting.

The consolidated financial statements are stated in United States dollars, which is our functional currency.

Use of estimates

     The preparation of consolidated financial statements in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP") requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. For us, the use of estimates is or could be a significant factor affecting the reported carrying values of flight equipment, inventory, intangibles, goodwill, investments, trade and notes receivable, deferred tax assets and accruals and reserves. Management considers information available from professional appraisers, where possible, to support estimates, particularly with respect to flight equipment. Despite management's best efforts to accurately estimate such amounts, actual results could materially differ from those estimates.

     In the years ended December 31, 2010 and December 31, 2011, we changed our estimates of useful lives and residual values of certain older aircraft. The change in estimates is a result of the current market conditions that have negatively affected the useful lives and residual values for such aircraft. The effect on net income from continuing operations for the year ended December 31, 2011 was to reduce net income by $7.6 million, or $0.05 basic and diluted earnings per share.

Restricted cash

Restricted cash includes cash held by banks that is subject to withdrawal restrictions.

Trade receivables

     Trade receivables represent unpaid, current lease obligations of lessees under existing lease contracts. Allowances are made for doubtful accounts where it is considered that there is a significant risk of non-recovery. The assessment of risk of non-recovery is primarily based on the extent to which amounts outstanding exceed the value of security held, together with an assessment of the financial strength and condition of a debtor and the economic conditions persisting in the debtor's operating environment.

Flight equipment held for operating leases, net

     Flight equipment held for operating leases, including aircraft, is stated at cost less accumulated depreciation and impairment. Costs incurred in the acquisition of aircraft or related leases are included in the cost of the flight equipment and depreciated over the useful life of the equipment or term of the related lease. In instances where the purchase price includes additional consideration which can be allocated to the value of an acquired lease containing above market terms, such allocated cost is recognized as an intangible lease premium which is amortized over the term of the related lease. The cost of improvements to flight equipment are normally expensed unless the improvement materially increases the long-term value of the flight equipment or extends the useful life of the flight equipment. In instances where the increased value benefits the existing lease, such capitalized cost is depreciated over the life of the lease. Otherwise, the capitalized cost is depreciated over the remaining useful life of the aircraft. Flight equipment acquired is depreciated over the assets' useful life, based on 25 years from the date of manufacture, using the straight-line method to the estimated residual value. The current estimates for residual (salvage) values for most aircraft types are 15% of original manufacture cost. Differences between our estimates of useful lives and residual values and actual experience may result in future impairments of aircraft and/or additional gains or losses upon disposal. We review residual values of aircraft periodically based on our knowledge of current residual values and residual value trends to determine if they are appropriate and record adjustments as necessary.

     We apply ASC 360, which addresses financial accounting and reporting for the impairment of long-lived assets and for long-lived assets to be disposed of and requires that all long-lived assets be evaluated for impairment where circumstances indicate that the carrying amounts of such assets may not be recoverable. We normally evaluate these events and circumstances on an annual basis. However, given current market conditions the evaluation is performed on a quarterly basis. The review for recoverability includes an assessment of the estimated future cash flows associated with the use of an asset and its eventual disposal. The assets are grouped at the lowest level for which identifiable cash flows are largely independent of other groups of assets. In relation to flight equipment on operating lease, the impairment assessment is performed on each individual aircraft. If the sum of the expected future cash flows (undiscounted and without interest charges) is less than the carrying amount of the asset, an impairment loss is recognized. The loss is measured as the excess of the carrying amount of the impaired asset over its fair value.

     Fair value reflects the present value of cash expected to be received from the aircraft in the future, including its expected residual value discounted at a rate commensurate with the associated risk. Future cash flows are assumed to occur under then current market conditions and assume adequate time for a sale between a willing buyer and a willing seller. Expected future lease rates are based on all relevant information available, including current contracted rates for similar aircraft, appraisal data and industry trends. Residual (salvage) value assumptions generally reflect an aircraft's booked residual, except where more recent industry information indicates a different value is appropriate. We generally focus our impairment assessment on older aircraft as the cash flows supporting the carrying value of such older aircraft are more dependent upon current lease contracts, which leases are more sensitive to weaknesses in the global economic environment. We review and stress test our key assumptions to reflect any observed weakness in the global economic environment. Further deterioration of the global economic environment and a further decrease of aircraft values might have a negative effect on the undiscounted cash flows of older aircraft and might trigger further impairments.

Notes receivable

     Notes receivable arise primarily from the restructuring and deferring of trade receivables from lessees experiencing financial difficulties. Allowances are made for doubtful accounts where there is a significant risk of non-recovery of the note receivable. The assessment of the risk of non-recovery is primarily based on the extent to which amounts outstanding exceed the value of security held, together with an assessment of the financial strength and condition of a debtor and the economic conditions persisting in the debtor's operating environment.


     We may hold debt and equity interests in third parties, including interests in asset securitization vehicles. In instances where those interests are in the form of debt securities or equity securities that have readily determinable fair values, we apply the provisions of ASC 320 and designate each security as either held to maturity or available for sale securities.

     We report equity investments where the fair value is not readily determinable at cost, reduced for any other than temporary impairment.

     We evaluate our investments in all debt and equity instruments regularly for other than temporary impairments in their carrying value and record a write-down to estimated fair market value as appropriate.

Other assets

     Other assets consist of receivables from aircraft manufacturers, prepayments, debt issuance costs, interest and other receivables and other tangible fixed assets. Other tangible fixed assets consist of computer equipment, motor vehicles and office furniture and are valued at acquisition cost and depreciated at various rates between 16% to 33% per annum over the assets' useful lives using the straight-line method. We capitalize costs incurred in arranging financing as debt issuance costs. Debt issuance costs are amortized to interest expense over the term of the related financing.

Revenue recognition

     As lessor, we lease flight equipment principally under operating leases and report rental income ratably over the life of the lease as it is earned. We account for lease agreements that include step rent clauses on a straight line basis. Lease agreements for which base rent is based on floating interest rates are included in minimum lease payments based on the floating interest rate existing at the inception of the lease; any increases or decreases in lease payments that result from subsequent changes in the floating interest rate are contingent rentals and are recorded as increases or decreases in lease revenue in the period of the interest rate change. In certain cases, leases provide for rentals based on usage. The usage may be calculated based on hourly usage or on the number of cycles operated, depending on the lease contract. We cease revenue recognition on a lease contract when the collectability of such rentals is no longer reasonably assured. For past-due rentals which have been recognized as revenue, provisions are established on the basis of management's assessment of collectability and to the extent such rentals exceed related security deposits held, and are recorded as expenses on the income statement.

     Most of our lease contracts require payment in advance. Rentals received, but unearned under these lease agreements are recorded as deferred revenue on the balance sheet.

     Net gain on sale of assets originate from the sale of aircraft, engines and parts and are recognized when the delivery of the relevant asset is complete and the risk of loss has transferred to the buyer.

     Revenues from direct finance leases are recognized on the interest method to produce a level yield over the life of the finance lease. Expected unguaranteed residual values of leased assets are based on our assessment of residual values and independent appraisals of the values of leased assets remaining at expiration of the lease terms.

     Revenue from secured loans, notes receivables and other interest bearing instruments is recognized on an effective yield basis as interest accrues under the associated contracts. Revenue from lease management fees is recognized as income as it accrues over the life of the contract. Revenue from the receipt of lease termination penalties is recorded at the time cash is received or when the lease is terminated, if collection is reasonably assured. Other revenue includes any net gains we generate from the sale of aircraft related investments, such as our subordinated interests in securitization vehicles and notes, warrants or convertible securities issued by our lessees, which we receive from lessees as compensation for amounts owed to us in connection with lease restructurings.

Share-based compensation

     We account for share-based compensation in accordance with ASC 718. Accordingly, we recognize compensation expense when it becomes probable that participants in share-based incentive plans, who hold direct or indirect equity interests in our shares or options to acquire such shares, will be able to achieve fair value. The amount of such expense is determined by reference to the fair value of the share or share option on the date of grant. The timing of expense recognition is determined with reference to the timing of lapsing of restrictions on restricted shares and vesting on share options, including the lapsing of repurchase rights which allow other parties to repurchase participants' shares at less than fair market value.

Foreign currencies

     Foreign currency transactions are translated into U.S. dollars at the exchange rate prevailing at the time the transaction took place or at the rates of exchange under related forward contracts where such contracts exist. Subsequent receivables or payables resulting from such foreign currency transactions are translated into U.S. dollars at the exchange rate prevailing at each balance sheet date. All resulting exchange gains and losses are taken to the income statement under selling, general and administrative expenses.

Variable interest entities

We account for investments in variable interest entities in accordance with ASC 810, Consolidation.