One lingering effect of the Covid pandemic is uncertainty, which makes it very difficult for airlines to plan routes, schedules, and flights. Airlines often turn to short-term leasing to increase capacity and maximize revenue when seasonal or unpredictable demand is high.
Depending on the airline’s needs, this can be dry, damp, or hybrid leasing. In a wet lease arrangement, the supplying airline, or lessor, provides the aircraft, crew, maintenance, and insurance called ACMI Lease Aircraft The lessor airline pays the lessee by the number of block hours flown and arranges its ground services, such as fuel. Catering and handling. A wet lease is when the operating airline provides its cabin crew.
The A380 was a visible boost for the high-flying brand
High Fly retires the Airbus A380 at the end of 2020. Photo: Airbus
High Fly was probably the most well-known wet leasing airline when it operated the aircraft A380. It is the world’s largest damp lease operator and today has a fleet, according to ch-aviation.com, that includes two Airbus A319-100s, one A330-200, three A330-300s, one A330neo, and six A340-300s.
High Fly has an A340-300 leased from TAP Air Portugal (TAP), which has been with the airline since early July. The registration 9H-SOL aircraft is configured to seat 254 passengers, including 36 in business and 218 in the economy, and has a maximum range of 8,950 miles (14,400 km).
Based on data from Flightradar 24.com, 9H-SOL first flew under a TAP from Beza International Airport (BYJ) to Lisbon Humberto Delgardo Airport on a 20-minute domestic flight on July 11 (flight number LIS). Since July 30, the aircraft has operated 43 TAP flights in 19 days, a mix of short- and medium-haul flights to eight destinations.
Based in Lisbon, it flies to Vienna, Warsaw, Brussels, London, Geneva, Frankfurt, and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. Its time with TAP is over; yesterday, it flew from Lisbon to Tel Aviv Ben Gurion International Airport as High Fly flight HFM610P, although it may still return to TAP.
A week’s work included Europe and the Dominican Republic
High Fly has a fleet of five Airbus A330s, including one A330neo. Photo: High Fly
Looking at its most recent service, for the week from July 24 to July 30, the A340 operated 20 flights with a total flight time of around 83 hours. Some days, it was only within Europe; On others, the overnight flight to Punta Cana added to the workload. In Europe, it is from Lisbon to Vienna International Airport (VIE), Austria, Frankfurt Airport (FRA), Germany, and Warsaw Chopin Airport (WAW), Poland. In detail, TAP operated the A340 between Lisbon and Vienna five times, once to Warsaw and once to Frankfurt, all returning to Lisbon.
Punta Cana services operated on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays with a scheduled departure time of 17:00, although this was often late. The outward leg took around 7:20 hours and usually arrived in the Dominican Republic around 21:30. And at 11:39 p.m. On the day of the Punta Cana flight, the airline operates a return flight from Lisbon to Vienna, Warsaw, or Frankfurt in the morning, which often arrives late and pushes the following flight schedule. The days in between were just one flight to one of the European cities, with an afternoon departure from Lisbon.
TAP has a fleet of 19 A330neos that are all in service, so it appears that the high-flying A340 is being leased to meet increased demand or possibly for maintenance of an aircraft. Either way, it’s an excellent example of how weight leasing can get an airline out of a capacity jam. We would love to hear from anyone in high fly service.