Due to the accelerating summer season air travel demand, airlines worldwide are naturally keen to expand their fleets and destinations. This, along with general expansion plans, alters many airlines’ fleets, which, though, may be relatively easily covered by the airline-to-airline or third-party aircraft lease. Regardless whether it is a season-based decision or the need to expand the fleet due to a freshly added route, the question is who will operate the newly leased airplanes.
Depending on the selected long-term fleet strategies, some airlines do avoid or have the capability to avoid aircraft lease. But in Latin America, for example, over 72% of air carriers operate airplanes which are owned by someone else. In Europe these figures are even higher – almost 78%.
‘For airlines it is essential to keep their capabilities up with the market demands. But passenger load, on the other hand, fluctuates to a large extent and changes numerous times during the year. It depends not only on the fact that people tend to have their vacations mostly in the summer, but also on major holidays or events, like the Chinese New Year or the Brazilian Carnival,’ commented the CEO of AviationCV.com Skaiste Knyzaite.
Whilst approx. 40 European major airlines lease aircraft, only one third of them also leases the crew, including through the airline-to-airline wet lease agreements. The rest are likely to cover the additional airplanes with their full-time flight crews. However, for some airlines the latter may bring extra expenses, rather than benefits, since post-vacation period will see the numbers of flights back at their pre-holiday level. And while an aircraft may be grounded or sent for maintenance works, the pilots are still to be paid for in full.
‘For airlines summer and major holiday seasons are always a stick with two ends. They have an opportunity to gain extra income, but on the other hand they are forced to make additional investment in the fleet as well. In order to minimize these costs, some airlines lease both pilots and cabin crew for short or middle-term periods. And with the help of such international lease&recruitment agencies as AviationCV.com, airlines also gain an opportunity to customize their crew, especially flight attendants. As an added bonus, forming a crew with a ‘local touch’ will naturally increase the satisfaction of passengers,’ concluded Skaiste Knyzaite.