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LifeStyle Aviation leasing program supports flight schools

North Carolina schools adds two Cessna 172s to flight line

LifeStyle Aviation, a general aviation piston aircraft distributor, is expanding its leasing business to assist flight schools challenged by cash liquidity during the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

LifeStyle Aviation is expanding its leasing business to assist flight schools challenged by cash liquidity caused by an economic slowdown during the coronavirus pandemic. Blue Line Aviation, of Raleigh, North Carolina, recently accepted delivery of two Cessna 172 Skyhawks. Blue Line Aviation CFII Jamison Powell, Training Advisor Josh Weber, Marketing Director Jenna Slater, and LifeStyle Aviation Training Manager Phil Jewell (left to right) pose for a photo. Photo courtesy of Sharon Raub, LifeStyle Aviation.

The firm’s network of flight schools supports school owners with flight and management procedures, business growth plans, and yearly meetings where ideas for improvement are shared.

Direct leases and leaseback development programs are initiatives that can help flight schools that are strapped for cash, the company noted in a recent news release. Leasing programs can provide flight school owners financial breathing room to free up capital for payroll, rent, and unforeseen expenses as customers return to the skies.

One such flight school is Blue Line Aviation, based at Raleigh-Durham International Airport, which took delivery in April of two new Cessna 172 Skyhawks on lease. The North Carolina flight school offers training that begins with a private pilot certificate and coaches students through their commercial, multiengine, instrument, and instructor certificates and ratings.

The school’s flight line includes Diamond Aircraft DA20s, DA40 NGs, and DA42s; and Cessna 172 JT-As and 172 SPs, giving students a variety of experience in high-wing, low-wing, gas-powered, Jet A-powered, single-engine, multiengine, and glass-cockpit aircraft.

Blue Line Aviation CEO Trey Walters said he felt “blessed to have continued opportunities for growth” during challenges brought by the pandemic. He added that the partnership with Lifestyle Aviation “has been a critical component of our success.” Blue Line’s plans include a relocation to nearby Johnston Regional Airport in Smithfield in 2021 with expanded training services.

LifeStyle Aviation President John Armstrong said the company’s lease and leaseback approaches allow network partner flight schools to “continue strategically growing toward their long-term goals.” The aircraft leasing programs can provide owners with some financial breathing room to free up capital for other uses.

Flight schools in many states were designated essential businesses as the coronavirus pandemic unfolded, but some struggled with cash flow as states imposed and then lifted stay-at-home orders that affected travel and kept many students from training. Flight schools have since returned to the training environment after adapting new procedures for social distancing, aircraft disinfection, and health screening that comply with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, and further guidance from the AOPA Air Safety Institute.

David Tulis

David Tulis

Associate Editor Web/ePilot
AOPA Associate Editor Web/ePilot David Tulis joined AOPA in 2015 and is a private pilot with single-engine land and sea ratings and a tailwheel endorsement. He is also a certificated remote pilot and co-host of the award-winning AOPA Hangar Talk podcast. David enjoys vintage aircraft and photography.

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