ACMI leasing (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance or wet lease) is a sub-charter operation between airlines with the main scope including leasing of an aircraft, fully rostered crews on board, maintenance and insurance supplied by the lessor company. All the other flight operations components (fuel, ground handling services, traffic rights, overflight fees) remain on the account of the lessee company.
For the lessee company ACMI offers nimble anticipation for extra requirements and is also a safe option for urgent aircraft substitution.
The lessee airline could also anticipate over charged capacity of their flight program for seasonal peaks, or to be at ease when launching new scheduled routes. The airline can also make adjustments while facing unpredictable situations (unserviceable aircraft, AOG, decommissioned aircraft, crew rostering constraints) Sub-chartering outside the company would avoid flight cancellations ,high delays of operations and stranded passengers.
For the lessor airline providing the aircraft, it is the opportunity to operate an aircraft that has no planned schedule activity on its own network during the low season. Some lessor airlines may often prioritize wet leasing sub-contracts while some airlines are solely dedicated to ACMI chartering services.
Aircraft leasing to airlines is mainly conducted by two options.
Dry Lease : the lessor provides an aircraft to airline customer which enrolls the aircraft onto the list of it’s own fleet.
Wet – lease or sub-chartering contracts are mainly structured by four ACMI components : Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance. The lessor maintains the aircraft in it’s own fleet. This service generally includes the flight-crews and commercial cabin-crew members. The lessee company will subsequently control the operation supplying flight numbers, overflight permits, traffic rights, airport ground handling services, fuel, passengers’ catering service, loading and offloading of cargo…
There is an alternate option as for long term sub-chartering contract which is known as « damp lease », lessor airline provides the aircraft with it’s pilots and the lessee airline on the other hand will roster it’s own commercial cabin crew members.
At rare occasions the lessee airline may also provide the pilots and this is considered as an « AMI » contract.
Several carriers in each geography have decided not to operate scheduled flights and instead are specifically focused on ACMI leasing.
AVICO’s expertise and technical skills have grown over the years as partnerships have been established with most ACMI lessors, whom we know in-depth and audit frequently in order to offer to lessees the right product and service meeting the most stringent safety and security standards.
Scheduled airlines can often be, at times, ACMI lessors during the peak and also ACMI lessees during the low season, in order to optimize their flight schedule program and profitability.
AVICO’s international network of relationships, along with the technical, legal and contractual skills of its operational teams are ready and available to serve both side of the operation, customers and suppliers.
The lessor is in charge of the aircraft that remains registered into its fleet. The lessor is above all responsible for the airworthiness of the aircraft.
The lessee airline is responsible for the payload, that is passengers and freight carried aboard.
The sub-charter contract will determine a clear cut of duties and responsibilities of each party to avoid any discrepancies beforehand or in the future.
Each party must check that each insurance policy is correctly distributed and there are no coverage gaps. The lessor is typically bearing insurance coverage of the hull and third parties liabilities whereas the lessee would be holding insurance coverage for passengers and freight liabilities. It is also necessary to make sure that the insured amounts allocated to passenger coverage are in line depending on the countries involved in the operation, and that planned operations are in compliance with countries exclusions in the insurance policies of both the lessor and lessee.