Airlines Aviation News ITA Airways

Wet Lease and Dry Lease What Are They and How do They Work?

Just as in everyday life we don’t always buy a car, we might lease it, this is the case even in the aviation world. Airlines often choose not to buy planes but rather lease them for a monthly fee. There are many reasons why this is done and we’ll cover them shortly. Also there are 2 types of airplane lease and we’ll go over those too.

Why Would An Airline Lease A Plane?

Purchasing a plane is a huge investment and can create some bookkeeping problems spending such a large sum in the early stages for some airlines. So reason number one will definitely be the lack of an upfront cost.

Leasing an aircraft, rather than purchasing it, will allow to save on the upfront cost. That budget can be diverted towards other departments of the airline’s operations. Of course on the long term leasing will turn out to be the more expensive option.

Reason number 2, is time related. Waiting lists to receive a purchased airliner can be quite long. In some cases years can separate the order and the delivery of a plane. Another big problem, particularly if you’re launching an airline.

Airplane leasing companies will allow airlines to have the required planes in their fleets much faster. Instead of having to wait years an airline will have the planes in a matter of months.

British Airways Planes in Dry Lease

What is a Wet Lease in Aviation?

A wet lease is the most uncommon type of lease in aviation. This is a situation where the aircraft is provided with the entire crew. A wet leased plane is ready to operate and doesn’t need any staff from the airline renting the aircraft.

It simply is the most uncommon type of lease because it’s the most expensive. Airlines will only choose this option if they are in a real hurry to cover a route. Just recently the new Italian airline ITA Airways was operating its daily flights to London City Airport and Geneva on a set of Wet Leased Embraer E-190s.

Another disadvantage of a wet lease is that in many cases the leasing company will operate the flight in its own uniform and colours. This clearly doesn’t help in developing a brand or a consistency in passenger experience.

What are Dry and Wet Leasing in Aviation?

What is a Dry Lease in Aviation?

Dry Leases are by far the most common type of aviation leases. They are cheaper and simpler deals. Leasing companies will hand over the aircraft without any staff.

The dry leased plane will be in the colours of the airline that is hiring it, operated by staff in the airline’s uniform. Generally this kind of lease has a much longer contractual duration when compared to the wet lease counterparts.

Almost all airlines have at least a part of their fleet leased to them. It’s very likely that the plane you last flew on was leased to the carrier.

About the author

Alex Achille

Ex Cabin Crew with Emirates, I've always loved travelling and other cultures. In this website I'll be sharing my experiences along with my reviews of the latest Korean Dramas and TV Series I've watched.