Goshawk: Winner of a 2022 Alexander Hamilton Small Company Excellence Award!

The airline industry is complex, with many different providers working together to ensure the smooth movement of passengers, planes, and goods across the globe. Every airline requires a fleet of airplanes—each worth tens of millions of dollars—as a necessary component of day-to-day operations. Goshawk, as an aircraft-leasing company, helps airlines reduce the capital burden of acquiring those assets.

“Consider a bank that is lending an airline $50 million to buy an aircraft,” says Damian Howley, head of treasury for Goshawk. “That creates a $50 million exposure to that one company and one aircraft, and the interest charges imposed are going to reflect that risk. Alternatively, if a leasing company like Goshawk borrows $50 million, the bank’s credit exposure is diversified across a range of airlines and aircraft around the world. There are exceptions, but typically this risk diversification allows Goshawk to raise debt at a lower cost than most airlines, so we can offer them attractive financing on the aircraft they need.”

A leasing arrangement with a company such as Goshawk can also increase the airline’s business agility. “Suppose an airline buys an aircraft to fly between London and Paris,” Howley says. “If something changes and that route no longer makes sense for some reason, the airline is stuck with the aircraft and no route to fly it on. However, with leasing, the airline can return the aircraft at the end of its lease. This gives airlines more flexibility in managing their fleets over a long-term period.”

Meg Waters

Meg Waters is the editor in chief of Treasury & Risk. She is the former editor in chief of BPM Magazine and the former managing editor of Business Finance.

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