Saturday, 4 April 2020

Have lessors repossessed nearly 30 Interjet's Airbus aircraft.

There has been much speculation in the aviation media in recent days that various aircraft leasing firms have taken back or repossessed nearly 30 of Mexican carrier Interjet Airbus Aircraft.

Some 28 aircraft had been flown to various places for storage in the US, including Phoenix, Roswell, and Tucson over the last five days or so. Now, aviation consultant IBA Group Ltd and AirFinance Journal have both said that various lessors had run out of patience with the airline and repossessed the aircraft as doubts about the carriers liquidity circulate. 

Bloomberg Intelligence analyst George Ferguson said: “It looks like lessors want to get their planes out before they go into default, - Interjet is probably not a long-term survivor.”

So far, no leasing firm has confirmed it had repossessed any aircraft from Interjet and the airline itself has cited the news stories as "It’s absolutely false,"  Simplyflying quoted an Interjet statement advising the story was an "intentional campaign that wants to mislead the flying public and the investors." 

Bloomberg quoted an airline spokesperson as saying  “Interjet has had to temporarily suspend routes and therefore has had to look for spaces to park jets at competitive prices, like the rest of the airlines are doing.”

However, there does appear to be some truth in aircraft going back to the lessor, but on a more voluntary basis by the airline,  "We are taking the opportunity to renegotiate conditions, and we are exploring the option of returning aircraft that have contracts outside of the current market conditions," it told simplyflying.

In these days of mass uncertainty, when nobody knows exactly how long the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic will last, there will be so many stories like this, when the truth is not as clear as it could be,  where rumour and supposition become so commonplace and widespread that is hard to know the full truth. The bottom line is that almost all airlines around the world are feeling the effects of border shutdowns, travel bans and the resulting drop in demand, Interjet, is just one of them.  And even if the rumour is correct and some aircraft have been repossessed it won't do the firm a great deal of harm in the short term,  for it has no scheduled for those aircraft to fly on, indeed it might be more advantageous for the aircraft to be the responsibility, both physical and financial, of the leasing firms rather than the airline.  

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