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Feature: Repos on the rise

16 February 2011

It was a bad year for the repo man in 2010. This year may not get any better if lessors continue to take a soft approach to defaulting airlines.

Read more: aircraft repossession Mike Skinner Owen Geach Tony Whitty Gary Weissel Rob Morris

It is one o'clock on a wet September morning at Luton Airport, and a flight from Bucharest, Romania, has just landed. Like most hostile repossessions, the crew does not know what is happening until it is too late.

Although the captain has not gone as far as barricading himself in the cabin, a not unheard of scenario, he wants to speak to a lawyer.

"After one hour he realizes there is not much he can do, so we secure the aircraft and put it into short-term storage," says Owen Geach, commercial director, International Bureau of Aviation (IBA), whose task it was to repossess the aircraft.

Volito Aviation's repossession of the airline's 737-400 is text book, but it could have gone so wrong.

Serving a termination might have alerted the airline about the risk of repossession. Consequently, the airline might not have flown the aircraft to Luton on...

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