INCREASED RELIANCE ON LEASING COMPLICATES THE PHYSICAL AND REGULATORY AIRWORTHINESS ASSESSMENT

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ARTICLE: Credit-squeezed Carriers Increasingly Turn To Leasing

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The heavier reliance on leases, especially the operational version, complicates the issue of airworthiness. The company that owns the aircraft and then leases that equipment to an airline assumes greater risk in the value of the airframe and engines. The airworthiness of that airplane defines the ability of the lessor to move that bird to another airline in the event that the original lessor returns the vehicle.

If the maintenance books indicate that a D check is required before a long term lease can be written for the second lessor, that capital asset will be leased for less. If the subject aircraft has been operated and maintained to a lesser standards than required by the country to which the airplane will be moved, then a substantial compliance, expensive exercise in a hangar, will be required before the 2nd CAA will accept the plane.

One way to assure that these leased assets have continuing value is to establish an independent, 3rd party auditing team that has the expertise to assess the physical and regulatory airworthiness of these airplanes. That assessment must include examination of a myriad of documents and a determination that the papers/equipment meet not only the rules of the country in which the plane is operating, but also the internationally acceptable minimums.

A well designed assessment program will, at a minimum, create a real time picture of the assets’ current values or suggest remedial actions needed to protect that worth. Failing to do so could result in a substantial diminution of the aircraft. Here is one place where you can find such expertise.

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