Air Transport World

Another year, another lease: ATW's third annual fleet survey reveals that nearly half of the U.S. major fleet is leased. (Air Transport World)

ATW's third annual fleet survey reveals that nearly half of the U.S. major fleet is leased. By Perry Flint.

U.S. major airlines, including America West and Southwest Airlines, both of which now are classified as such by the U.S. Department of Transportation, operated 3,166 jet aircraft at the end of 1989, a 2% increase over 1988. The relatively small net increase masks the ongoing transformation in fleet composition, however, as the proportion of leased aircraft in the major-airline fleet reached 48.1%, up from 43.2% in 1988.

Indeed, since 1986, the proportion of leased aircraft--primarily those on off-balance-sheet operating leases--has grown from one third to nearly one half of the total U. …

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