Industry boss warns of ACMI market deficit

By Rebecca Jeffrey

Gediminas Ziemelis, chairman of the board at Avia Solutions Group. Photo: Avia Solutions Group.

The ACMI market could soon experience a deficit and problems such as order backlogs, one air cargo stakeholder has warned.

Gediminas Ziemelis, chairman of the board of Cyprus-based Avia Solutions Group, said that the expected decline in global pilot supply may see some airlines enter into short-term dry lease agreements, where they hand over some of their aircraft to other companies with a bigger supply of in-service pilots.

He added that some airlines may experience aircraft shortages because demand outpaces the speed at which maintenance services can be carried out, leading to increased demand for ACMI.

Retirement of aircraft will also push up demand, he said.

Ziemelis noted that “an increase in demand for dry leasing by major airlines will ultimately cause a leasing deficit, as the number of carriers pursuing ACMI solutions exceeds that of airlines providing such services.

“Even with such big players like Lufthansa, which in their latest strategy is reactivating temporarily parked aircraft and the use of seasonal wet-lease capacities, might not be enough to meet the demand.”

However, he added: “The available ACMI operators may start to experience challenges in servicing many airlines seeking to enter into leasing agreements.”

A leasing demand increase “may result in ACMI deficits, leading to order backlogs and other risks associated with aircraft leasing”.

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