Planenutz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (11 years 12 months 22 hours ago) and read 2500 times:
You're always hearing stories of an airline's planes being repossesed or impounded to the incomvenience of passengers. Most recently I can remember the Varig incident at CDG a couple of months ago with their 777 for nonpayment of lease. Also there were the Ghana AIrwyas incidents at LHR over the past few years.
The only time I ever witnessed a repossession was at MAN last year when Canada 3000 filed for bankruptcy and ceased operations. The plane was repossesed by the lessor after the airline had stopped flying.
It always seems that ILFC is the major aircraft lessor inpounding on a regular basis, and I'm wondering what the procedure is. Do local law enforcement get involved. Do ATC have orders mot to let the place takeoff? Do they (ILFC, or police) prevent the crew from getting on board? What is passengers are on board or have already boarded the place? What actually happens? If the airplane is impounded, where will it be stored? Will the leasing company be responsible for flying it out? Has anyone been on a flights where this happened, and if so what did the airline do to assist the situation?
I also remember when TWA abrubtly discontinued service to TLV out of fear that thier 767 used on the flight would be impoinded by Israeli Airport Authorities for some non-payment of this or that. American made the decision and replaced the flight with one of their own 777 or something.
BeltwayBandit From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 495 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (11 years 12 months 22 hours ago) and read 2451 times:
Impounds happen many ways for many reasons.
Authorities can impound for failure to pay fees (e.g. Eurocontrol) or for illegal activity such as drug transportation. They have the ability to seize with cooperation from local authorities.
Lessors have a number of tools. Quite often, they have the ability to unilaterally terminate the existing lease and become the legal lessee. Then they need to comply with local law (where the aircraft sits) to exercise self-help in repossessing.
That said, most lessors will give a lot of slack before taking an extreme step. There is liability if they do something improper. In the current aircraft market, most aircraft could not be easily re-let to new carriers, so there is no rush to repo as long as it is being maintained, and there is a good chance that the default will be cured.
Trintocan From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2000, 3272 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (11 years 12 months 20 hours ago) and read 2399 times:
That's a frightening prospect which now faces BWIA as ILFC, from which its fleet of 737-800s and one A340-300 are all leased, is threatening to repossess planes from this week due to non-payment of lease fees. BW has been in a grave financial mess and it is speculated that without State intervention it will not last this week. Rough times indeed.