Aircraft shortages are turning into a moneymaker for some airlines as the dearth of supply allows carriers to sell new planes to leasing companies at much higher prices than they paid.

Carriers such as Denver-based Frontier Airlines and Hungary's Wizz Air have reported gains up to hundreds of millions of dollars through selling planes after taking delivery and renting them back for their own use. These sale-and-leaseback transactions have long been a way for airlines globally to generate liquidity and ease the strain on their balance sheets.

The tight airliner market has made these deals far more attractive, with U.S. airlines this year accounting for 24% of global sale-and-leaseback transactions, up from 10% in 2022, according to Cirium Ascend Consultancy.