Leaseback of aircraft has been used in aviation for many years. What does the term mean and what is involved in a leaseback?
A leaseback, simply stated, is a lease of an aircraft to the dealer or a flight school. It got its start during the early years of formal flight instruction and was usually between an aircraft purchaser and the dealer selling the aircraft, more commonly at that time, the fixed base operator which also sold fuel and provided maintenance service.
The concept has evolved over the years with different entities leasing the aircraft from owners, however the basic principle still applies, an aircraft is purchased by an owner then leased to a flight school. What has changed is the venue in which the purchase of the aircraft is made. Over the years, the dealer selling the aircraft had been part of the fixed based operator then transitioned to a separate entity, then as the number of aircraft available for sale decreased the dealerships nearly went extinct.
Today, a new concept has been generated in which the flight school becomes the dealer of the aircraft and enters into leasing arrangements with new owners.
This is being taken one further step by Lifestyle Aviation through its Partner Network. This network is being established by Lifestyle as a distributor of the highly popular, all composite, Diamond Aircraft line. The network will consist of flight centers located throughout the US. These flight centers will provide flight instruction in the aircraft and will promote the aircraft to the clients. As part of the promotion process, the flight centers will enter into leaseback arrangements through Lifestyle’s Lease & Learn program. This program helps defray the cost of aircraft ownership in the first year, and actually works toward making the aircraft in the first year of operation.