Lease trends

Industry consultancy IBA says the leasing market for single-aisle narrowbodies is booming. This Boeing 737 MAX 8 OK-SWA (c/n 43555) was delivered to the Czech operator Travel Service earlier this year on lease from GECAS.
Marian Lockhart/Boeing

Lease lengths on legacy singleaisle commercial aircraft are being extended, meaning earliergeneration aircraft are staying in service for longer, according to new research from the International Bureau of Aviation (IBA).

There is, the consultancy says, a “disconnect” between the lengthening lease rates of legacy single-aisles such as Airbus A320ceos and Boeing 737-800s and rising lease values of these aircraft. The consultancy says lower oil prices in recent years compared to earlier this decade “have driven increased demand for later-build A320ceos and 737-800s than was originally anticipated. This is likely [to have] attributed to their proven technologies, giving a steady operational platform, and IBA believes the established reliability of these older models is a contributing factor to the apparent contradiction’. The consultancy highlighted other trends from its research. More singleaisles are now sold with leases, strengthening sales and leaseback pricing means the leasing market “is rich with liquidity”, and lease rate factors (LRFs) are decreasing. In 2013, IBA says, a new A320ceo had an LRF in the region of 0.71%, but now the figure is nearing 0.50%.

More leasing opportunities on older equipment due to increased demand and competition among lessors are also boosting the market, says IBA. On widebodies, IBA says discounts from manufacturers on clean-sheet aircraft such as A350s and 787s as they seek to secure widebody market share “will increase pressure on values and lease rates further down the road”, although Jonathan McDonald from IBA’s Commercial Intelligence team said the residual values of lease aircraft “are expected to remain buoyant”. IBA also said it is seeing more 777-300ER secondary market activity. Mark Broadbent

TUI transfers 787

TUI has transferred one of the Boeing 787-8s previously used by its TUI Airways (formerly Thomson Airways) operation in the UK, G-TUIG (c/n 36426), to its TUI Airlines Belgium unit. The aircraft has been re-registered as OO-LOE.
Javier Rodriguez

’Cook’s Club’

One of Thomas Cook’s latest special schemes is this livery on Thomas Cook Airways’ Manchester-based A321-211 G-TCDV (msn 1972) promoting one of the company’s leisure hotel brands. Another A321 in the group, Condor’s D-ATCD (msn 6639), wears a livery promoting Sentido Hotels.
Nik French

Airbus shows off BLADE

Airbus A340-300 F-WWAI (msn 1), the first A340, was shown at the recent ILA Berlin Air Show. This aircraft is currently being used for the BLADE (Breakthrough Laminar Aircraft Demonstrator in Europe) programme to test new methods of improving natural laminar flow on airliner wings. Airbus said during ILA the aircraft is around halfway through the 150 hours of flight-testing involved with the project.