What is ACMI?
ACMI stands for Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance. There are two main types of ACMI lease: wet leasing, when a supplying airline (the lessor) provides all four of these elements to a customer airline (the lessee); and damp leasing, when the lessee provides their own cabin crew. In both cases, the lessee pays by the number of block hours operated and arranges its own ground services such as fuel, handling and catering. ACMI leases generally last up to 12-18 months and are a cost-effective alternative to buying a new aircraft when faced with issues such as:
- Seasonal demand
- Testing new routes
- Maintenance delays
- Late delivery of new aircraft
- Crew shortages
Why choose ACMI?
ACMI leasing offers advantages for both the lessee and lessor. The lessee benefits from extra seasonal capacity without investing in the longer-term commitment of dry leasing or purchasing extra aircraft. An ACMI lease also gives them the flexibility to choose the aircraft type, operation period and route that best suit their needs.
On the flip side, the lessor can capitalise on counter-seasonal demand from other regions, allowing them to optimise their fleet and generate year-round revenue without worrying about incremental costs like fluctuating fuel and currency, ground handling charges and passenger delay compensation liability.
Types of ACMI Lease
Short-term: Unforeseen emergencies like grounded aircraft, crew sickness, bad weather and strike action can disrupt an airline’s schedule for days, so operators need to act quickly to minimise delays. A short-term ACMI lease allows airlines to outsource the affected schedule whilst maintaining continuous service across the rest of their operation.
Long-term: Longer-standing leases provide prolonged use of an aircraft without the financial commitment and overheads of a dry or operational lease. Long-term leases are an ideal solution for testing new routes and markets, meeting seasonal demand, and covering service disruption due to planned maintenance, lease deferrals, aircraft deliveries and crew training.
Cargo: In these unprecedented times, cargo leasing allows airlines to meet increased demand for freight capacity without dry leasing or buying additional aircraft, similar to that in passenger aircraft leasing. Contracts can be arranged on a monthly or annual basis as needed and our team of leasing experts can source a wide range of specialist cargo aircraft as well as auxiliary freighters.
Alternatives to ACMI
Dry Leases: Involving only an aircraft (without crew, maintenance or insurance), dry leases are a cost-effective alternative to ACMI longer term. The lessee adds the aircraft to its air operator’s certificate (AOC) and provides aircraft registration, but provides its own crew. Dry lease agreements typically last at least two years, depending on factors like depreciation, maintenance and insurance.
Hybrid Leases: Also known as CMI (Crew, Maintenance and Insurance), hybrid leases involve the client’s aircraft being dry leased to an operator, who then wet leases it back to the client with a crew, maintenance and insurance. Hybrid leases are a great solution for airlines that have sufficient aircraft capacity, but need to outsource operational support due to factors like crew shortages and strike action.
ACS IN ACTION: AIRCRAFT LEASING
BACK-UP AIRCRAFT FOR THE BUSY CANADIAN SUMMER SEASON
In 2019, a major Canadian operator asked us to help them lease a back-up aircraft to cover flights from Toronto to the Caribbean during the region’s busy summer period, which coincides with Europe’s winter season.
KEEPING AN AIRLINE'S SCHEDULE ON TRACK WHEN THEIR AIRCRAFT WAS GROUNDED
A low-cost carrier asked Air Charter Service to help them lease an aircraft for five days to cover a grounded aircraft that had been struck by a flock of birds.
MOVING GROUNDED POST OFFICE SHIPMENTS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
In 2020, a passenger airline asked us to help them lease a cargo aircraft for 13½ months on behalf of their national post office.
How can we help?
Air Charter Service’s dedicated aircraft leasing team has over 50 years’ experience in aircraft lease management, providing a wide range of bespoke ACMI and leasing solutions to airlines around the world. To find out more, discuss the current market or request a quote, get in touch today.
ACMI Direct Line: Tel +44 (0)20 8335 1058
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Our award winning cargo department offers a full range of cargo aircraft and helicopters, from shipment of small urgent packages to large, heavy outsize consignments.READ MORE