Welcome to the first Airlines Downunder!
Today’s topic which I spent some time researching is the amount of aircraft that airlines actually own and have on loan. Today I will be using LOT Polish Airlines as an example for this. Let’s jump in!
So, we all know that aircraft are not cheap. A regular Boeing 737-800 costs around $96 million USD. Now that’s enough to buy a small village of modern homes! Plus another million dollars to upkeep the aircraft and maintain it over a few year period (10 year calculation). Now if for example the airline has a lot of aircraft then they need a big budget to keep them up in good condition otherwise they will start getting worn out and feel uncomfortable to the passengers.
Recent news from LOT Polish Airlines was the loan of a few 737s. The loan order was adjusted from 6 to 2 737-800s along as a purchase of 737-8MAXs from Boeing. Now, LOT operates a fleet of 48 aircraft and that’s pretty normal for an airline like this. But what makes up a major part of LOT is their old planes, their owned business and travel agencies. With the old 767 that LOT used to use, they were turned into a cheap vacation airline called Euroatlantic Airlines. They operate around 4 Boeing 767s and make up a small percentage of LOTs profit.
Now the travel agencies in Poland are the main way to buy cheap airfares and vacations. There are many operatives like Itaka, SkyTravel, OLT Express (closed down) and other few operators. LOT does not own all of them but some of them use the old aircraft of LOT. But now let’s get back on track. LOT had a massive downfall before their 787-8s arrived. Due to a delay in their order they needed aircraft to fly the routes of the delayed order aircraft. Now here I did not find much info but all I know is that they loaned around 6 VERY OLD A330s and used them on those routes. Now that’s what makes up LOT. Half of it’s income comes from the use of loaned aircraft.
To sum this all up, leasing aircraft for a cheaper price is not as good as buying the aircraft but it’s good for filling in delays and other problems. With some loaned aircraft you can’t change the livery nor the inside. But sometimes the rich aviation groups buy aircraft and loan them to airlines for a long service operation. Which really says that, loaned aircraft are really good, but also tragic at the same time.
Thanks for reading the first edition of Airlines Downunder! Comment down below what you think of loaned aircraft and also what I should cover next fortnight! For now, happy landings!