Wet-leasing is a practice in the aviation industry whereby one air carrier (i.e., a lessee) obtains aircraft and crew from another carrier (i.e., a lessor) to operate services offered pursuant to the former’s (the lessee’s) license. This differs from other types of leases that do not include crew.
Wet-leasing is largely used by air carriers to accommodate unforeseen shortfalls in aircraft availability due to technical or mechanical issues, or to manage aircraft fleets between affiliated companies. It is also not uncommon for wet-leased aircraft to be used to acquire aircraft for temporary or seasonal services. Such longer-term wet-leases (e.g., for a season) can provide a cost-efficient way of introducing supplemental capacity into an airline’s fleet in order to meet fluctuations in demand. At the same time, the introduction of seasonal capacity in Canada through wet-leasing has implications for the wider Canadian market for international air services.
In Canada, the Canadian Transportation Agency considers wet-lease applications pursuant to the Canada Transportation Act and the Air Transportation Regulations.
This policy provides guidelines to guide the Canadian Transportation Agency’s consideration of application by Canadian air carriers to wet-lease aircraft from foreign air carriers.
This policy applies to international air services/operations where a Canadian air carrier (“lessee”) is seeking to wet-lease aircraft from a foreign air carrier (“lessor”) for a period of more than 30 days. The arrangement between the lessee and lessor is for the provision of the aircraft with flight crew on a rental of aircraft basis and not on a basis of volume of traffic or revenue sharing. It does not apply to all-cargo services, to code-share or other cooperative arrangements, nor does it distinguish between scheduled and non-scheduled services.