What You Should Know About Aircraft Leasing Companies

In the world of aircraft leasing there are two big arenas that are serviced; Private & Commercial Jetliners and Piston Aircraft. 

In the private and commercial turbine engine market there are a variety of aircraft leasing companies that range in size and specialty.  Specialties range from geographical locations to type of aircraft to industry segments.  Large institutions with a mix of both debt and equity financing fund most of the companies doing business in this space.  For example GECAS is a branch of General Electric while Wells Fargo, Citi, Oak Hill Capital and others back Avolon

Aircraft leasing companies lending larger aircraft generally offer two types of leases; a wet lease or a dry lease. A wet lease is where a leasing company will provide the aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance while a dry lease only provides lessee with the aircraft. In most cases, banks and aircraft leasing companies will only work in the confines of a dry lease. Generally you see a wet lease when one airline is leasing to another airline, ie. Egypt Air to Air Sinai.

When it comes to piston aircraft, there is a different make up of aircraft leasing companies.  What you have is specialty lenders/fleet management companies that offer leasing solutions and banks. The specialty lenders/fleet management companies usually have a better knowledge of the market and know where and how to get the best assets for a good price. Banks on the other hand look at a lease transaction in the piston aircraft market more as a one-time deal on an asset class.  Generally you will not get as favorable of a rate from a bank as you will from an aircraft leasing company who operates in the piston aircraft market everyday. 

Depending on your needs as an individual or as a flight training program, you may find that using a current, well established banking relationship gets you the rate and residual you need on your lease. However, if you are looking to lease an entire fleet of aircraft and want to build a program that not only gives you options to finance your planes but also helps you in the management of those assets, enabling you to focus your time on teaching pilots rather than managing a fleet, you probably want to think about chatting with a specialty aircraft leasing company.