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Southwest Airlines sells parts of its fleet

Johanna Koyser
09.05.2020
2 minutes

Southwest Airlines, based in Dallas, Texas, has been flying with a Boeing only fleet for years. With a total of 742 aircraft, it is one of the largest airlines in the world. At the time of the Corona crisis, though, this fact does not help much. Therefore, Southwest Airlines has decided to sell 20 aircraft from its fleet. However, this is a special deal.

Ten Boeing 737-800 and ten Boeing 737 MAX 8 will change hands soon. Nevertheless they will remain with Southwest. This is a so-called ” sale-and-leaseback” deal. That means that the 20 aircraft concerned will no longer be owned by Southwest Airlines, but the latter will lease them from the buyer. Only recently, WingMag reported on the aircraft leasing company Avolon, which is doing just that. In the case of the purchase of the 20 Boeings from Southwest Airlines, however, it is not known at this point in time who the buyer is.

The question why Southwest is entering into such a ” sale-and-leaseback” deal at all is relatively easy to answer. Admittedly, aircraft leasing means first of all that running monthly costs increase. But currently all airlines are trying to secure capital. By selling the aircraft, Southwest Airlines receives 815 million US dollars. Money which can simplify the operation in the Corona crisis.

In conclusion, nothing will change for the end user, the passenger. The affected planes continue to fly the same routes and look the same as before. It remains to be seen whether more airlines will follow the path chosen by Southwest in the near future. 

Picture © Jack Harner

by Johanna Koyser

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