26 JANUARY 2015
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The slump in oil prices has given a new lease of life to passenger jets that until recently were destined for retirement.
Aircraft such as the four-engined Airbus A340 and early Boeing 747-400’s which have been sentenced to desert storage or dismantling, are winning a stay of execution because lower oil prices make them economic for some carriers.
"We are seeing a big pick-up in demand for aircraft we thought we would scrap," Aengus Kelly, Chief Executive of AerCap, told the Airline Economics conference in Dublin last week.
AerCap, has recently leased out older passenger aircraft and freighters such as Airbus A340s, Boeing 747s and 757s, rather than sending them to be dismantled, he said.
The aircraft industry has seen a record wave of orders for a new generation of fuel-saving aircraft in recent years as airlines sought protection from high oil prices.
But the 50% drop in oil prices has also made it easier for airlines that cannot afford new fleets, or those that face long waits for new jets, to put their faith in venerable four-engined jets. Small airlines are less likely to hedge with fuel prices and can buy at the current market rate. www.aercap.com
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