COVID Has ‘Changed Everything’ As Airlines Seek Flexibility

ACMI operators have been playing their part in the recovery by giving airlines more options.

The coronavirus has “changed everything” in the ACMI market as airlines face up to new challenges and seek flexibility, according to ACC Aviation’s director of leasing Dave Williams.

“We see airlines planning in three-month blocks. July to September has been busy for narrow and wide-bodied ACMI, said Williams, after late-season optimism among travelers. However, airlines are still keen on flexibility and are planning quarter by quarter. 

“Airlines have been affected by interim capacity constraints including crew resources or postponed aircraft deliveries,” Williams said. “Lack of flight-ready crew challenges airline management—even if they have 30 aircraft idle.” 

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In addition, about 20% of the estimated 60 new start-up airlines are focused on this model, Williams said. 

“The leasing companies are being flexible with incentives like power by the hour, yet seasonable crew need to be trained and ready too,” he said.

“The B737-800 and A320 are the most popular ACMI narrowbodies. The A330 is an enticing commodity and several have been added into European ACMI carriers recently,” Williams added.  

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