Politicians like to use the term “dead on arrival” to refer to unpalatable bills, and that’s how 116 bipartisan members of the House earlier this year described a trial balloon floated by the Obama Administration on user fees for general aviation.
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.
The big financial freeze that has gripped much of the aerospace industry since around the time of the last Farnborough airshow in 2008 is starting to thaw. And, as a consequence, deal making is back in fashion.
This was the headline assessment of the state of the sector from Michael Richter, managing director of the aerospace and defense group of financial advisor and asset manager Lazard on the eve of this week’s show.
NBAA applauded the Washington State legislature’s decision to scuttle a provision for an “onerous” tax proposal for aircraft in its annual spending bill. To oppose the tax hike, NBAA banded with other groups–including the Pacific Northwest Business Aviation Association, AOPA and the Washington Pilots Association–to form a unified grassroots coalition known as the Washington Aviation Coalition.
Alan Klapmeier, chairman of Cirrus Aircraft, has formed a team to raise funds to try to buy the Vision SF50 single-engine personal-very-light-jet program from Arcapita Bank, the majority owner of Cirrus. “I feel comfortable that we can do this,” said Klapmeier.
Bend, Ore.-based Stratos Aircraft last month began taking refundable $50,000 deposits, which will be placed in escrow, for its four-seat, single-engine Stratos 714 personal very light jet. The first 25 aircraft will be sold for $2 million each, after which there will be a modest, but as-yet-undetermined, price increase.
“Only in 2012 will [business jet] deliveries start growing again,” Embraer executive vice president Luis Carlos Affonso said in a pre-LABACE press briefing. He expects 2010 and 2011 will be “difficult years” for the business aviation industry, but noted that there are already signs that the industry is starting to recover. He said the company will meet Phenom delivery goals, if it can build the airplanes fast enough.
Dassault Aviation reported ?900 million ($1.28 billion) in Falcon sales in the first half, down slightly from the ?1.1 billion ($1.56 billion) recorded in the same period last year, but cancellations of previous business jet orders far exceeded sales. Thus, the value of Dassault’s consolidated orders for the first six months was -?1.13 billion
Sources for financing of corporate aircraft purchases may be harder to find this year than last, but Toennies von Limburg, director of international sales with Bank of America Corporate Aircraft Finance (Booth No. 394), said there is value to be had in what has turned rapidly from a buyers’ to a sellers’ market.
Is the bizliner immune to the current economic and financial crisis, or have slumping demand and order cancellations simply not yet caught up with that segment of the industry? Some among the narrow- and wide-body manufacturers say that executive segment of the industry remains relatively healthy and take a somewhat optimistic stance.
Customers who finance an aircraft through Bank of America can arrange more attractive lease terms if they also hire Gama Aviation for management services. Michael Amalfitano, corporate finance executive for Bank of America, and Scott Ashton, vice president for business development at Gama, announced the alliance at Gama’s booth (No. 1247).