(CNN) — The team at Jet Test and Transport runs a global airline — but the planes fly on a one-way trip without passengers or cargo.
They are experts in ferry flights, moving empty aircraft around the world.
In the age of Covid-19, with airlines parking and shedding jets, co-founder Steve Giordano and his pilot partners are some of the busiest guys in the sky.
About half of the world’s fleet of more than 20,000 commercial aircraft are leased to airlines. At the end of a multi-year lease, an airline may decide to re-up or return the plane to the lessor.
That is where Jet Test and Transport comes in.
Aircraft leasing has been booming business. Unlike a commercial real estate developer’s building, or space rented in a mall or office building, if business goes sour, the aircraft can be reclaimed and sent to another operator. It is, by definition, a mobile asset.
“When an aircraft is returned [from an airline] at the end of a lease, we’ll transport the aircraft either to the next customer, or into storage or into maintenance,” says Giordano in an interview with CNN Travel.
“That’s about half of the ferry work. And the other half is the opposite — taking the airplanes out of storage or out of a maintenance facility and to the new operator.”
Jet Test began operations in 2006, although Giordano began ferrying airplanes a couple of years earlier than that.
Following the procedures of an airline, Jet Test is regulated under a Bermudian Air Operators Certificate (AOC), and is structured the same way as a larger air carrier. It even has its own identifier callsign for its flights — JTN.