Getting a foothold in DoM can be tricky when you join late and the best slots and airports are unavailable or horribly inaffordable.
I found that keeping an eye on the bankruptcy notices was very useful - as soon as someone went down who operated in our area I'd try for the slots and routes that became available. I assume there would also be a sale of used aircraft (didnīt really see that, may have been too slow to grab them).
Still not clear to me whether it is better to buy (using loans) or lease, financially. Someone will know.
As I understand it, aircraft from BK outfits go to the brokers, who will release them onto the market eventually, they dont tend to flood the market with a sudden influx of a particular type, but rather a more limited selection then top it up as aircraft are sold/leased out.
lease or buy is a tricky one : in the long-term, buying makes more economic sense, but it does depend where you are at the time, financially. if you have a good positive cash-flow, then taxes becomes a problem, and well-timed buying of planes keeps the taxman's greedy mitts off your cheese-pile : if the taxman has already snaffled some, then buying will get it back for you at year-end. And, of course, buying means no lease-fees every month forever. Against that, leasing does mean you can dump planes easier, and in your early years, you may not be able to get the 'perfect' plane for your future needs (it may not be in production yet, etc), so you take what's there, make some money, order the 'perfect' one then dump your leases as the new birds arrive. While a long lease may be cheaper, it costs more to end early, so planning matters there too.
It can also make sense, in the early days, to only lease aircraft up to the 'D-check', then send them back before that big bill hits and lease another : not nice to do to other players tho, so limit that to brokers : they got no feelings to hurt anyway.
Taking out loans to buy does make sense, the repayment ( does depend on global interest rates and your credit rating) is usually not that far off what a lease would cost (esp on a brand new plane) and once paid off, the aircraft is all yours. You can then use that as collateral to take out further loans and buy another, and so on. Eventually, you can leverage your fleet to buy itself, and for not that much more than what it would have cost to lease.
Timing is all important tho, so planning ahead a bit and trying to judge when is the best time to buy, borrow, repay early, etc is a skill probably only learnt the hard way, by the doing of it. But its nice when it all comes together tho
Additional thoughts : other plus points are : insurance on owned planes is a LOT cheaper, full cover is not necessary then, so should be considered when calculating overall cost. Value of owned planes are added to your company value, leased planes are not. Owned planes can be sold to recover value, leased planes tend to cost money to get rid off early.