The UK aviation industry enjoyed an amusing talk over lunch in London from ILFC founder and president Steve Udvar-Hazy last month.
Recounting with some regret how the airline industry has lost the glamour of the 1950s and 1960s, as well as some of the household names from the era, he commented that the overcapacity that exists today results from “the availability of irrational capital that makes it very easy to start an airline but very difficult to kill one”. He added that aviation bankruptcy rules are too lenient, allowing ailing airlines to “trample around the jungle indefinitely, doing damage”.
Udvar-Hazy joked that with the industry in such dire straits, particularly in North America, ILFC plans to patent a six-point plan to ensure the industry returns to good health:
1. Shut down Embraer, Bombardier, Airbus and Boeing production for a year which would remove 1,000 airplanes from the system.
2. Shut down airline certification bureaucracies for a year or two so that no new airlines can be formed.
3. Shut down all pilot training schools.
4. Accelerate production of new born human babies with the aim of delivering more passengers in the years to come.
5. Cut out all government subsidies and overhaul bankruptcy laws to allow airlines to fail.
6. Divert all new capital to fund drilling of oil wells in Alaksa and have lessors invest in oil platforms rather than airplanes.
Perhaps ILFC could be on to something ..