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COVID Era Airplane Leasing Dispute Results in $48 Million Damages Award Based on Texts

by Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Book Substack

SDNY COURTHOUSE, July 2 – A breach of contract lawsuit springing from the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in an award of more than $48 million on July 1, 2024 by U.S. District Court for Southern District of New York Judge Louis L. Stanton. 

  Frontier Airlines was buying planes from Airbus and in turn reselling them to AMCK, to lease them back for approximately $250,000 a month. When COVID disrupted airline travel, the companies' executives had a series of phone calls and emails that resulted in the litigation.

   While AMCK would later insist that they had not agreed to and then extended a deferral on a month-to-month basis, and therefor were justified in declaring Frontier in default, Frontier's executive's testimony and contemporaneous text messages won the day, at least before Judge Stanton.  

  The $48 million award is supplemented by attorney's fees and 9% interest. The Second Circuit is just one building to the south - but on experience, Inner City Press notes that Judge Stanton's decisions have a way of being upheld...

The case is Frontier Airlines, Inc. v. AMCK Aviation Holdings Ireland Limited, et al., 20-cv-9713 (Stanton)


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