The key to making money with leased planes (and making MORE money with owned ones) is high utilisation. When they're sat on the ground they are still costing a fortune in leasing costs yet earning nothing. Maybe you were not using your fleet to it's maximum efficiency. An A321 should typically be airborne for 18 to 20hrs per day. If you can work out how to do this on the proper routes they cannot fail to make money, even when leased.
It's also a matter of good route choice. I've got an opponent who loans most of his 737. He's using them 18 hours. Still, profitability is only 2,7%. I'm at 14 hours, with 12,35% profitability. One of the keys is to avoid bad routes. A 2000NM route with 70 demand for a leased 130-seater, just for the sake of having it fly overnight, is not a very wise move(if the demand is 130, OTOH, jump!), IMHO.
If you've got a good base, a good plane use, good routes, and a sound pricing strategy, then yes, even at this price, you can make money. I've got a E195 that makes 1.7M$ a week. OK, it's bought, not leased, but leased, it would still make 1.5M$ or so. Of course, it's an exception. Normal earnings with such a plane are more around 400/500k$ a week(from which you can safely take off 30% for taxes, and then 130k$ for the general costs - still a good buy). Leasing reduces your profitability, but increases your growth capacity. As sinking Billions in fleet renewal is not fun, and opposition grows, in the meantime - the guy at 2,7% profitability is currently expanding at my expense, while I'm renewing my fleet.
There is no easy answer.