Increase in Leased Fleet may call for Increase in 3rd-Party Services to Assure Aircraft Value, Airworthiness and Safety

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ARTICLE: Leased aircraft expected to grow to 50% by end of decade

Leased AircraftThe relationship between an aircraft lessor and the lessee is complex and full of potential controversy. The entity, which assumes the financial risk of buying the vehicle, is essential to the many airlines that cannot put that obligation on their balance sheets. The institution, that decides to own this complicated mass of parts, depends on the operator to fly the airplane within its limits and to maintain it in accordance with the airworthiness regulations under which the airframe is registered.

Putting that aircraft on an airline’s operations specifications and assuring that the operator’s maintenance manual meets the regulatory and OEM requirements, the appropriate program for this specific aircraft type is correctly installed and the detailed documentation is followed throughout the lease term are essential to the lessor’s long-term valuation of that airframe and powerplants. Sloppy documentation, applying the wrong rules, failing to apply preventative procedures on a timely basis, not getting the right AMOC for an AD and a long list of potential problems are examples of technical flaws that might require major maintenance time upon return, a long delay to resurrect records before the next carrier can accept the aircraft and other nasty cost events.

A valuable preventative approach would be to involve a team of experts who can minimize the risk of these “paths of lease resistance.”

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