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.
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.
San Francisco-based Macquarie Rotorcraft Leasing (MRL, Booth No. 7802) announced yesterday here at Heli-Expo the purchases of two Sikorsky S-92A twin-engine helicopters for its growing fleet aimed at supporting operators in the oil-and-gas and search-and-rescue markets. The two S-92s will be leased back to Avincis subsidiary Bond Offshore Helicopters and will be delivered in the second quarter of 2014.
William Chiles, who has led global offshore helicopter services company Bristow Group for the last decade, will retire effective July 31 and be replaced by current CFO Jonathan Baliff. Chiles will remain as a consultant to the company through 2016. During Chiles’s tenure, Bristow grew rapidly and posted record profits. Baliff, who held senior positions at NRG Energy and Credit Suisse before joining Bristow in 2010, is a former USAF pilot with degrees in aerospace engineering and international relations.
Last year marked another year of relatively soft rates in the general aviation insurance market, according to aviation insurance broker NationAir’s annual market analysis, released yesterday. “While the market conditions have remained the same for several years, the reasons for that soft market are changing,” noted company president Jeff Bauer.
Initially, increased market competition pushed rates down, he said. “Now, however, rates are being held down by the more long-term forces of structural overcapacity and, thankfully, favorable loss history.”
According to the latest business jet market update from J.P.Morgan, recent data shows further weakness in the pre-owned business jet market. Used inventory rose to its highest level since late last year, while pricing showed another sequential decline, the firm said. Business jet flying bounced back, however, providing a glimmer of hope.
- Page 1