Video of the week – As lessors are ever more closely monitoring airline health digitising lease returns is an obvious efficiency benefit, so where is the holdup?

With the current global reduction in demand you can expect to see large numbers of airlines take advantage of lease return clauses, not take up options for extensions or simply return aircraft back to lessors. The redelivery of aircraft back to these companies can be a complicated and expensive exercise even when planned, but at a time of crisis is made even more difficult.

Just like when returning a rental property to its owner, there is a long list of conditions required upon every lease return. These can include technical inspections, a return to vanilla cabin interiors and furnishings and whitewashing the aircraft’s exterior. But, even more complicated can be the technical and operational paperwork associated with every aircraft lease.

Lease return transactions can be costly for both parties when relying on paper-based documentation. The standing requirement to return an aircraft with boxes of paper records and physical paper trails to document compliance is outdated in today’s technologically advanced world.

Moving to a fully digital records management platform, where a standard set of paperless compliance documentation can be built in a standard format electronically would make a world of difference for all parties. When a single-aircraft transition can involve going through 70 boxes of paperwork, lessors are understandably keen to go digital. So where is the holdup?

This subject was addressed at the CAPA-Aviation Week Network Airline Operations Leaders’ Summit in Seville, Spain in early Dec-2019 with Oliver Wyman partner, David Stewart; Air Lease Corporation senior vice president and head of technical asset management, Eric Hoogenkamp; MTU Aero Engines SVP MRO programs, Martin Friis-Petersen; and Ryanair, general manager heavy maintenance, Neil Hickey shared their insights on the subject.