Air Transport World

Leased out; leased jets outnumber owned in U.S. major fleet - an ATW survey. (Air Transport World)

Over the past five years, the U.S. airline industry has gone through a major structural transformation, moving from a business in which airlines basically were owner/operators of their aircraft into one in which much of their lift is leased from nonairline third parties. Today, on y half of the 10 remaining U.S. major airlines own more than 50% of their aircraft. These are Delta, with 58%- Northwest with 62%; Southwest, 60%; United, 56% and USAir Group, 54%. And statistics compiled by A77 reveal that in terms of total numbers of aircraft, the majority of the U.S. major-airline jet fleet was leased at the end of 1990. Of the 3,342 let-transport aircraft that were operated by these airlines as of last Dec. 31-including Eastern, which since has gone out of business-1,754, or 52%, were leased, up from 48% in 1989 ATW, 6/90).

The speed of this transformation is surprising. …

Log in to your account to read this article – and millions more.