sxf24 is correct, this is for the whole aircraft, airframe and engines. The power-by-the-hour as an engine lease structure is a common misconception on A.net. PBH agreements are engine maintenance structures, not engine lease structures. Any company that is leasing engines out solely on the basis of power-by-the-hour payments is leaving considerable money on the table as most engines have actual market value above and beyond the simple repair costs.
The only time you might see a power-by-the-hour engine lease agreement is when the engine maintenance provider has fallen short of their maintenance obligations. In these circumstances, they will lease spare engines out to the airline that are free-of-charge on a market-lease basis, and only charge for maintenance consumed during the lease. This is the exception, not the rule, and only results when they are unable to get the airline's engines back to them on-time.
PBTH can refer to engine lease & maintenance, or engine maintenance alone.
PBTH maintenance is the defacto standard for WB engines, and growing in popularity for NB. PBTH maintenance and lease is growing in popularity for WB. Aircraft leasing companies like the latter, as they have the ability to offer the leasee either option, with certain margins, and upgrades are included.
Comparing monthly payments for PBTH are meaningless. What are the T&C's of the agreement? What time period, hours and conditions are covered? Leasor will often contract PBTH maintenance beyond the first lease term of the aircraft. Is PBTH monthly charge flat or floating? Has the fee been smoothed for life of lease - in other words over paying initially, underpaying later? Has part of the PBTH been capitalised? Is part of the PBTH contained in the final balloon payment?
If an aircraft lease seems high, or it appears the leasor has acquired the aircraft from the airline at a premium, usually, but not always, it indicates the lease has two purposes - aircraft lease and general / specific funding.
I agree that PBH agreements are becoming more popular for both WBs and NBs, but I think you may be confusing terms with regards to aircraft leasing. I have never seen an aircraft leasing company offer pass-through maintenance services as an option - maintenance during the lease term always falls on the operator. For starters, it makes no sense that the airline would pay a leasing company for maintenance that has margins baked in when they can simply go to the MRO's and avoid adding the cost of the leasing company's margin. Additionally, there is simply too much liability for a leasing company to offer pass-through maintenance services. Aircraft or Engine MRO's may provide dual lease/maintenance structures, but again, their primary business is maintenance and not leasing. They are typically smaller players in the leasing wold.
I think what you are referring to are maintenace reserves
, or lease-end return adjustments
, where the leasing company will charge the operator to get the aircraft back in the same state it was delivered in. If the airline pays monthly maintenance reserves, they are usually charged by the hour and have to put the money in an escrow account until they, the airline, perform the maintenance. If the airline performs the maintenance before the end of the lease, that money is returned, if they don't, then the leasing company takes the money so they can have the maintenance done themselves - sometimes with buffer in to ensure they are never out-of-pocket on maintenance. Alternatively, larger blue-chip airlines can elect to not pay monthly reserves, and instead make a balloon payment at the end of the lease. Much like maintenance reserves, there will be a specified rate in the contract and if the airline returns the aircraft with all of the required checks/overhauls done, they owe nothing. If they return the aircraft with none of the checks/overhauls done, then they will owe a lump sum of cash to the leasing company. In either of these scenarios, the airline is still paying for maintenace work done over the term.
This headline lease figure could plausibly include the maintenance reserves, but I have doubts that David Neeleman has to pay reserves.
I think your last statement is referring to a sale/leaseback, where the airline sells the aircraft to the lessor and the lessor leases it back to the airline. You're assessment looks good. SLB's are a source of cash funds for the airline, and in today's market, offer more competitive economics vs. a standard operating lease.