With the country in mourning for the tremendous loss of life from the terrorist attacks, the financial loss seemed to pale by comparison. But as Americans began to recover from the initial shock, the economic concerns loomed darker, and the insurance industry was among the first to feel the fiscal effects. It was also one of the first to put measures into effect to minimize losses and recover from the economic blow.
Financing, Insurance and Taxes
Issues regarding financing of aircraft; aviation insurance; tax issues for aircraft operators; new companies and people in the aviation financing and insurance industries.
On May 6, very light jet air-taxi operator DayJet put its growth plans on hold after failing to obtain another $50 million in funding to progress to the next stage. As a result, the per-seat, on-demand air taxi laid off 100 of its roughly 260 employees and seeks to sell or lease 16 of its 28 Eclipse 500s.
Travelers Aviation has increased its aircraft hull coverage limit to $50 million. The new ceiling will allow Travelers to insure larger general aviation aircraft, including jets such as the Gulfstream G550, Falcon 7X and the Bombardier Global Express. Both Travelers Flight Plan Preferred and Travelers Flight Plan Premier policies will now have capacity to insure this new hull limit for eligible accounts.
The new Isle of Man aircraft registry could be a possible safe haven for N-registered business aircraft based in Europe. European civil aviation authorities, such as those of France and the UK, have indicated that they are unwilling to tolerate the situation in which aircraft that spend most of their time in Europe remain on the U.S.
Travelers Aviation, part of The Travelers insurance company, made its debut at the 2007 AIA convention at Indian Wells, Calif. This year in Nashville, Gordon Murray, its president, told AIN that in the past year Travelers has booked premiums in the millions of dollars and continues to look for opportunities. “The marketplace out there is competitive.
Despite the economic uncertainty in the U.S. and abroad, the mood was decidedly upbeat at the Aviation Insurance Association (AIA) convention April 26 to 29 at
the Gaylord Opryland resort in Nashville. In fact, due in part to the downturn in financial circles, aviation insurance–a truly worldwide industry–has been experiencing a mini-boom that is benefiting the insured, large and small.
Value Added Tax (VAT) and import duties for aircraft currently stand at zero percent in Denmark. This allows international operators to avoid tax by basing their aircraft in Denmark. However, zero-rated VAT is in contradiction with European law and pressure is mounting on Danish legislators to adjust their taxes upward.
In the months since September 11, the insurance industry has taken a beating. Some estimates–and they are still just estimates–put the total losses in excess of $100 billion.
Within days of the terrorist attacks, it was apparent that efforts by insurers to cope with the disaster would translate to higher costs and changes in coverage limits. So far, this is being proved out.
You roll up to an FBO in a multi-million-dollar business jet, and they roll out the red carpet. Your passengers disembark and you stroll into the office. There, the smiling customer service representative hands you a document. “It’s just our standard hold-harmless agreement,” she says. “We need your signature.”
Noticing that aircraft finance companies were more prominent here this year, EBACE Convention News did a quick walkabout to see when they first had booths at the show and what their impressions were.