Despite an estimated $535 million overage in aviation insurance claims this year stemming from the recent spate of foreign airline accidents (including two fatal crashes involving Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777s), Corporate Aviation Insurance Group president Matt Drummelsmith doesn’t expect any effect on insurance premiums for U.S.-based aircraft operators.
Second-quarter business jet deliveries climbed by 30 percent in North America, but this gain was more than offset by deficits in the rest of the world, according to data released yesterday by UBS Global Research. Global business jet shipments, excluding very light jets, fell 1 percent during the quarter, dragged down by losses in other world regions: -50 percent in Asia-Pacific outside China/India, -39 percent in China/India, -23 percent in Western Europe and -21 percent in emerging countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
In the wake of recent airliner losses, carriers are bracing for substantial increases in insurance premiums when the main renewals season starts on November 1. Insurers have already made massive payouts for hull losses following the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 en route to Beijing and the apparent shooting down of MH17 over eastern Ukraine. Other recent losses have included the crash of Air Algerie’s flight AH5017 in southern Mali and TransAsia Airways flight GE222 in Taiwan. Further unsettling the risk environment for air transport have been recent attacks on airports in Pakistan, Israel, Afghanistan and Libya.
The business jet market in North America continues to recover, while in Western Europe it is “off the bottom,” UBS Global Research aerospace analysts noted yesterday. “Bizjet deliveries into North America have grown modestly in each of the last several years and we anticipate further improvement in [this region] driven by pent-up corporate replacement demand,” they said.
The Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) expanded its aviation insurance program (MAIS) to include coverage for MROs, pilots, ground handlers, refuelers, fuel sales agents and other industry stakeholders. The association launched the aviation insurance group discount program for operators at the 2011 Dubai Airshow.
As the softness of the aviation insurance market continues to drive premiums down, aviation insurance underwriters, brokers and agents are struggling to make money. In fact, when asked how much lower premiums could fall before they hit bottom, Aviation Insurance Association (AIA) president Franklin Bass told AIN, “I thought we were there last year.”
“We think a sustained recovery in business jet utilization is necessary to drive improvement in the new aircraft cycle,” UBS Investment Research aerospace analysts said in their latest business jet market update, released yesterday. “Without a recovery in utilization we still see the market as oversupplied.”
Nextant Aerospace launched a financing plan that targets aircraft costing between $2 million and $10 million, a market it says has been underserved by banks in recent years. The company is offering a range of flexible financing packages for customers pursuing the Nextant 400XTi light jet and G90XT twin turboprop. Terms are available from two to 20 years, and a variety of lease types are available. Fixed or floating rates are offered, with fully amortizing or balloon payments.
“The European business aviation market recovery is lagging that of the U.S. market by 12 to 18 months,” Chad Anderson, president of business jet broker Jetcraft (static display), told AIN here at EBACE 2014. “Many European operators are rightsizing their fleets, which makes this a stronger recovery. However, there is still a lot of price fragility in the pre-owned business jet market.”
There is good news and bad news when it comes to financing for pre-owned business aircraft. The good news is that financing is available for aircraft buyers; the bad news is that banks are primarily lending only to those with exceptionally good credit who are buying an aircraft that is less than 20, and even in some cases less than 10, years old, according to a panel of aircraft financiers at the recent NBAA Aircraft Registration, Finance and Legal Conference in St. Petersburg, Fla.
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