This excerpt taken from the AYR 10-Q filed Nov 17, 2008.
Risks related to our leases
We generally will need to re-lease or sell aircraft as current leases expire to continue to generate sufficient funds to meet our debt obligations, to finance our growth and operations and to pay dividends on our common shares, and we may not be able to re-lease or sell such aircraft on favorable terms, or at all.
Our business strategy entails the need to re-lease aircraft as our current leases expire in order to continue to generate sufficient revenues to meet our debt obligations, to finance our growth and operations and to pay dividends on our common shares. In certain cases, including the New A330 Aircraft, we commit to purchase aircraft that are not subject to lease. The ability to lease or re-lease aircraft at attractive rates will depend on general market and competitive conditions at the particular time. If we are not able to lease or re-lease an aircraft at favorable rates, including aircraft acquired pursuant to the Airbus A330 Agreement, we may need to attempt to sell the aircraft to provide adequate funds for debt payments and to otherwise finance our growth and operations. In addition, if we are unable to place one or more of the New A330 Aircraft on lease sufficiently in advance of the delivery dates for such aircraft, our ability to meet specification or equipment selection deadlines may be adversely affected, resulting in significant down-time or reconfiguration costs. Further, our ability to re-lease, lease or sell aircraft on favorable terms or at all or without significant off-lease time and transition costs is likely to be adversely impacted by risks affecting the airline industry.
If lessees are unable to fund their maintenance requirements on our aircraft, our cash flow and our ability to meet our debt obligations or to pay dividends on our common shares could be adversely affected.
The standards of maintenance observed by the various lessees and the condition of the aircraft at the time of sale or lease may affect the future values and rental rates for our aircraft.
Under our leases, the relevant lessee is generally responsible for maintaining the aircraft and complying with all governmental requirements applicable to the lessee and the aircraft, including, without limitation, operational, maintenance, and registration requirements and airworthiness directives (although in certain cases we have agreed to share the cost of complying with certain airworthiness directives). Failure of a lessee to perform required maintenance with respect to an aircraft during the term of a lease could result in a diminution in value of such aircraft, an inability to lease the aircraft at favorable rates or at all, or a potential grounding of such aircraft, and will likely require us to incur maintenance and modification costs upon the expiration or earlier termination of the applicable lease, which could be substantial, to restore such aircraft to an acceptable condition prior to sale or re-leasing.
Certain of our leases provide that the lessee is required to make periodic payments to us during the lease term in order to provide cash reserves for the payment of maintenance tied to the usage of the aircraft. In these leases there is an associated liability for us to reimburse the lessee for such scheduled maintenance performed on the related aircraft, based on formulas tied to the extent of any of the lessees maintenance reserve payments. In some cases, we are obligated, and in the future may incur additional obligations pursuant to the terms of the leases, to contribute to the cost of maintenance work performed by the lessee in addition to maintenance reserve payments.
Our operational cash flow and available liquidity may not be sufficient to fund our maintenance requirements, particularly as our aircraft age. Actual rental and maintenance payments by lessees and other cash that we receive may be significantly less than projected as a result of numerous factors, including defaults by lessees and our potential inability to obtain satisfactory maintenance terms in leases. Certain of our leases do not provide for any periodic maintenance reserve payments to be made by lessees to us in respect of their maintenance obligations, and it is possible that future leases will not contain such requirements. Typically, these lessees are required to make payments at the end of the lease term.
Even if we are entitled to maintenance payments, they may not cover the entire expense of the scheduled maintenance they are intended to fund. In addition, maintenance payments typically cover only certain scheduled maintenance requirements and do not cover all required maintenance and all scheduled maintenance. Furthermore, lessees may not meet their maintenance payment obligations or perform required scheduled maintenance. Any significant variations in such factors may materially adversely affect our business and particularly our cash position, which would make it difficult for us to meet our debt obligations or to pay dividends on our common shares.
Failure to pay certain potential additional operating costs could result in the grounding or arrest of our aircraft and prevent the re-lease, sale or other use of our aircraft, which would negatively affect our financial condition and results of operations.
As in the case of maintenance costs, we may incur other operational costs upon a lessee default or where the terms of the lease require us to pay a portion of those costs. Such costs include:
The failure to pay certain of these costs can result in liens on the aircraft and the failure to register the aircraft can result in a loss of insurance. These matters could result in the grounding or arrest of the aircraft and prevent the re-lease, sale or other use of the aircraft until the problem is cured, which would negatively affect our financial condition and results of operations.
Our lessees may have inadequate insurance coverage or fail to fulfill their respective indemnity obligations, which could result in us not being covered for claims asserted against us and may negatively affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
While we do not directly control the operation of any of our aircraft, by virtue of holding title to the aircraft directly or through a special purpose entity, in certain jurisdictions around the world aircraft lessors are held strictly liable for losses resulting from the operation of aircraft or may be held liable for those losses based on other legal theories.
The lessees are required under our leases to indemnify us for, and insure against, liabilities arising out of the use and operation of the aircraft, including third-party claims for death or injury to persons and damage to property for which we may be deemed liable. Lessees are also required to maintain public liability, property damage and hull all risks and hull war risks insurance on the aircraft at agreed upon levels. However, they are not generally required to maintain political risk insurance. The hull insurance is typically subject to standard market hull deductibles based on aircraft type that generally range from $0.25 million to $1.0 million. These deductibles may be higher in some leases, and lessees usually have fleet-wide deductibles for liability insurance and occurrence or fleet limits on war risk insurance. Any hull insurance proceeds in respect of such claims shall be paid first to us as lessor in the event of loss of the aircraft or, in the absence of an event of loss of the aircraft, to the lessee to effect repairs or, in the case of liability insurance, for indemnification of third-party liabilities. Subject to the terms of the applicable lease, the balance of any hull insurance proceeds after deduction for all amounts due and payable by the lessee to the lessor under such lease must be paid to the lessee.
Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, aviation insurers significantly reduced the amount of insurance coverage available to airlines for liability to persons other than employees or
passengers for claims resulting from acts of terrorism, war or similar events. At the same time, they significantly increased the premiums for such third-party war risk and terrorism liability insurance and coverage in general. As a result, the amount of such third-party war risk and terrorism liability insurance that is commercially available at any time may be below the amount stipulated in our leases and required by the market in general.
Our lessees insurance, including any available governmental supplemental coverage, may not be sufficient to cover all types of claims that may be asserted against us. Any inadequate insurance coverage or default by lessees in fulfilling their indemnification or insurance obligations or the lack of political risk, hull, war or third-party war risk and terrorism liability insurance will reduce the proceeds that would be received by us upon an event of loss under the respective leases or upon a claim under the relevant liability insurance, which could negatively affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Failure to obtain certain required licenses and approvals could negatively affect our ability to re-lease or sell aircraft, which would negatively affect our financial condition and results of operations.
A number of leases require specific licenses, consents or approvals for different aspects of the leases. These include consents from governmental or regulatory authorities for certain payments under the leases and for the import, export or deregistration of the aircraft. Subsequent changes in applicable law or administrative practice may increase such requirements. In addition, a governmental consent, once given, might be withdrawn. Furthermore, consents needed in connection with future re-leasing or sale of an aircraft may not be forthcoming. Any of these events could adversely affect our ability to re-lease or sell aircraft, which would negatively affect our financial condition and results of operations.
Due to the fact that many of our lessees operate in emerging markets, we are indirectly subject to many of the economic and political risks associated with competing in such markets.
Emerging markets are countries which have less developed economies that are vulnerable to economic and political problems, such as significant fluctuations in gross domestic product, interest and currency exchange rates, civil disturbances, government instability, nationalization and expropriation of private assets and the imposition of taxes or other charges by governments. The occurrence of any of these events in markets served by our lessees and the resulting instability may adversely affect our ownership interest in an aircraft or the ability of lessees which operate in these markets to meet their lease obligations and these lessees may be more likely to default than lessees that operate in developed economies. For the three months ended September 30, 2008, 32 of our lessees which operated 68 aircraft and generated lease rental revenue representing 51% of our total revenue are domiciled or habitually based in emerging markets.