Heading into the homestretch of 2013, the upbeat mood that ushered in the new year has been building into the summer step-climb that gets a catapult shot–courtesy of the NBAA convention–to finish out the year. Someone must have hit the “on” switch after Labor Day weekend in early September, bringing buyers back into the market en masse. While deals have abounded in all model segments for some time, the recent activity is a strong sign of buyer confidence. From top to bottom aircraft are moving, and it’s no wonder considering how low prices have dropped.
AOPA Insurance–a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association–is expanding its offerings to cover business aviation. “FBOs are our primary targets with our new commercial insurance offering. Beyond that, we are ready to insure corporate flight departments to a very high limit of liability,” company president Bill Snead told AIN.
Aircraft Shopper Online (Booth No. C10016) has signed an agreement to provide its clients with the services of Asset Insight at a discounted rate. Asset Insight employs a grading system that it says allows it to accurately assess the value of more than 75 large, medium and small jets. It does so by evaluating an aircraft’s maintenance condition and comparing it with the condition of other aircraft of similar make, model and age, particularly those listed for sale.
The annual NBAA convention routinely serves as an appropriate time to reflect on activity in the pre-owned market for both light jets and single-engine turboprops. As we look back at the year that has passed, it’s fair to say that while these markets have not set any blistering records, some calm is in the air.
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) recently launched AOPA Aviation Finance (AAF) Company, a loan brokerage venture aimed at matching association members who require aircraft purchase financing with suitable lenders. It will also help facilitate member loans for avionics updates, either through straight loans using the aircraft as collateral when it is fully owned, or through refinancing of the aircraft while it is still being paid off.
The Independent Fixed Base Operators Association (Ifboa) announced last month that it has now surpassed the 500-member-company mark. Founded in 2006, the group includes FBO operators, flight schools, repair stations and aircraft management and sales firms among its ranks.
Airlines may still be struggling with rising costs associated with factors such as fuel and taxes, but they are winners when it comes to insurance premiums. New data released by insurance broker Willis shows that premiums have continued to fall this year. “The balance of power in airline insurance purchasing remains firmly in favor of the buyers,” concludes the London-based group in the second-quarter edition of its Airline Insight report released on July 15.
UBS Investment Research’s latest Business Jet Market Index dropped to 39 from 41 in May. The index measures “total value” in a survey of 131 “U.S. domestic and international broker/dealers, manufacturers, fractional providers, financiers and others,” according to UBS. The majority, 63 percent, are brokers/dealers.
The survey doesn’t assess absolute business conditions but measures changes in respondents’ views. The index is near a four-year low, “and well below the 50 mark that is indicative of sequential improvement.”
There has hardly been a better time to be a buyer of aviation insurance, as all signs point to a buyer’s market. Several factors are driving lower rates in this insurance segment, including fewer airline accidents, lower overall insurance claims, the economy, more underwriters entering the market, increased adoption of safety management systems and more sophisticated aircraft. AIN talked to David McKay, president and CEO of insurer USAIG, to get a better sense of this market. USAIG and McKay are here at the Paris Air Show supporting long-time customer Bombardier.
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) launched a new brokerage venture yesterday aimed at matching its members who require aircraft financing with lenders. It will also help facilitate member loans for avionics updates, either through straight loans using the aircraft as collateral when it is fully owned, or through refinancing of the aircraft while it is still being paid off.
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