The Air Nostrum plan to increase revenues by leasing a part of their fleet is starting to work. After several attempts to rent some aircrafts to operators from Panama or Uruguay, the airline is about to reach an agreement and lease some planes to an Argentine airline.
According to local media Sol Líneas Aéreas will operate between two and six 50-seater CRJ-200 from the Air Nostrum fleet as from October, who no longer use this aircraft type due to lack of efficiency for their traditional schedule market.
This operation would follow the new guidelines that Carlos Bertomeu, CEO for Air Nostrum, announced last November. The airline started a gradual fleet renewal in 2009 which would replace the smaller planes with others capable of transporting more people and thus having a lower cost per seat. This would have grounded the smallest part of the fleet in spite of the fact that the planes have passed all the maintenances. Hence he intends to obtain some benefits from that investment “The domestic industry slackened and so there is an excess of capacity which will be alleviated with wet or dry leases in areas which are not affected by the financial crisis” he had explained.
According to the information from LasProvincias.es, Air Nostrum already have four aircrafts leased to Cimber Air, which ceased operations last year, Wideroøe and Binter. There have also been contacts in Ghana, Morocco and Germany, but the priority for Bertomeu has been the Latin-American industry as he explained there are several operators there who might be interested in “copying” the Air Nostrum model in their countries.
Leasing the aircrafts which are no longer efficient for their business—the domestic and international routes with origin or destination in Madrid to feed passenger to connect with Iberia—is one of the keys for the viability plan of the airline to go back to profits in 2015.