Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



By 2020, new accounting rules for operating leases were applicable to publicly traded companies reporting under either the US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) or International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). The accounting authorities under both standards noted that the new rules were developed to increase the transparency of lease transactions to provide more relevant and comparable information. We compare two Brazilian airlines reporting under IFRS, Azul and Gol, with an operationally similar US airline reporting under US GAAP, JetBlue, to determine whether the new standards improve the ability to understand, evaluate, and compare performance, managerial decision making and credit metrics. We conclude that unintended consequences of the new rules have in some areas hindered rather than enhanced the comparability and transparency. Based on our analysis, we recommend two changes that would enhance comparability and transparency in the airline industry as well as other industries with heavy reliance on operating leases.


North American Business Press authors who assign their copyright to us retain unlimited free reproduction rights for their own work. Authors do not give up their rights to use, republish or reproduce their work for course notes, in another journal or as a book chapter, or electronically including their own institutional website, subject to acknowledging first publication details





To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.