FROM Scandinavia to South-east Asia, low-cost airlines have ordered record numbers of planes in recent years, redefining the jet industry. Now they plan to lease out scores of their new planes, re-ordering the aviation business all over again.
Between them, Indonesia's Lion Air, Malaysia's AirAsia and Norwegian Air Shuttle have ordered more than 1,400 Airbus and Boeing jets, worth about US$140 billion at current list prices. They're about to test the growing market for rented planes, competing with established finance firms that lease out aircraft to cash-strapped carriers from China to the United States.
Jet makers and the finance companies which dominate aircraft leasing question whether...