A new look engine leasing market

In order to buy an engine, an operator is required to cough up a hefty lump sum, followed by additional cash injections that are needed in order to carry out maintenance during the engine’s life.

So, it’s no great surprise that many operators are seeking more cost-effective solutions to help better predict and manage the associated costs of such assets.

Consequently leasing has become a far more attractive option, as paying a market lease rate of $0.065 million for the CFM56-7B26 engine that powers the 737-800, for example, has to be better than forking out a multi-million dollar upfront sum.

And in recent years the industry has seen MROs step into the leasing space, offering more comprehensive solutions in order to claim their share of the market.

Using their in-depth knowledge of engines to offer one-stop services, MROs are giving traditional engine lessors a run for their money.

So, as MROs such as ST Aerospace and MTU Maintenance (MTU) actively build up their own leasing empires, we have to ask whether their movement into the field is a result of OEMs penetrating the aftermarket with wide-ranging support packages.

While MROs have been offering customers leasing options for quite some time now, the move to offer non-MRO customers the same kinds of services is a relatively new strategy, but a move that MROs such as MTU are keen to be pioneers of.

In late 2013, MTU formed two joint ventures (JVs) with Sumitomo Corporation (Sumitomo) - MTU Maintenance Lease Services and Sumisho Aero Engine Lease – in a bid to better serve the growing demands of the industry by offering a “wider range of services, which span the entire lifecycle of an aircraft engine”.

And armed with a profound knowledge of these powerful components, there’s no denying that the MRO lessor is a worthy competitor of the traditional engine lessor.

While the aviation industry is no stranger to change, the next few years are most certainly paving the way towards a new look engine leasing market that is bound to shake things up.

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