GECAS Boosts New Trading Platform

GECAS has migrated 40 aircraft onto the electronic GATS platform.
Credit: Boeing

The much-needed digitization of aircraft trading has taken a big step forward following GECAS’ migration of 40 aircraft onto the electronic Global Aircraft Trading System (GATS) platform.

The benefits of electronic records and standardized documentation mean that GATS users can create, transfer and secure interests in aircraft equipment without disturbing existing leasing arrangements or the rights parties to the lease agreement.

The result is a big step-up in the efficiency of aircraft trading as the bureaucratic burden of aircraft and equipment transfers is significantly reduced.

And while aircraft trading has been hit by the effects of the pandemic, the advantages of GATS should still become apparent in the near future as lease novations increase due to airline failures and a drop in renewals.

GECAS has long championed the system, having previously pushed ahead with digitization with projects such as its AirVault Asset Transfer System – a continually updated digital records archive that gives GECAS staff instant access to technical information.

As well as guarding against the loss of paper records, AirVault also helps GECAS and airlines lower transition costs by eliminating the need to thumb through thick binders of documentation at lease-end.

In late December the lessor migrated a portfolio comprising a mix of Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft along with Boeing 737 Max and 787-9s units.

As more lessors move aircraft onto the system, it will be interesting note whether they simply move their most liquid assets first, or whether the units involved provide any clues into which aircraft are likely candidates for imminent lease transfer or change of ownership

“It is important to prepare for when the aircraft trading market returns,” said John Ludden, general counsel of GECAS.

He added: “Adopting this latest technology, namely, the GATS platform, will ensure future aircraft trading occurs in an efficient, cost-effective manner with minimum disruption to the airline customer.”

Alex Derber

Alex Derber, a UK-based aviation journalist, is editor of the Engine Yearbook and a contributor to Aviation Week and Inside MRO.