Financing is often one of the most critical decisions for buyers of business aircraft. To help its members in this regard, the African Business Aviation Association (AfBAA) recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Global Jet Capital (GJC), a new U.S.-based finance company focused on business aviation, that designates GJC as a “preferred provider of financing solutions.”
Announced immediately prior to the MEBA show here in Dubai, the agreement is expected to help make it easier for AfBAA members to obtain financing for new and preowned business jets.
“The growth in private aviation in Africa represents a significant opportunity for Global Jet Capital,” said Shawn Vick, chairman of GJC’s executive committee, “and this agreement and partnership with AfBAA is a major step in moving forward to grow this market.” Vick has formerly held senior positions with Hawker Beechcraft, Gulfstream, Bombardier, British Aerospace and Landmark Aviation.
Other members of GJC’s executive committee include Bill Boisture, formerly with Hawker Beechcraft, Gulfstream, NetJets and Butler Aviation, as an executive director and chairman; and David Rowe, founder and managing partner atAEIndustrial Partners (previously known as AeroEquity and where Boisture and Vick also are partners). Rowe was formerly an executive vice president with Gulfstream Financial Services andGECapital.
“We see an opportunity in the market,” Vick explained, “because [traditional banding] sources have taken a step back [from business aviation] and others have placed significant hurdles in the lending process so that the provision of lease financing or debt financing has proved to be challenging.” Therefore, many businesses and individuals, who have a requirement for large cabin and long-range aircraft, have had to use their own capital to buy their aircraft, and then look for financing after the purchase, he said.
“Global Jet Capital’s asset-based approach to private aircraft financing is a significant boost to the African market,” said Tarek Ragheb, chairman of AfBAA. “Africa has great opportunities and growth potential for private aviation, but the market faces significance challenges. This partnership with [we] will help AfBAA members and our market tremendously.”
GJC, which has the financial capacity to fund more than $2 billion in aircraft, offers operating and interim leases, finance leases, mortgage loans, progress payments and mezzanine financing for both new and preowned private jets. Officially launched this October at the NBAA Convention in Orlando, Florida, GJC is a partnership of GSO Capital Partners (a Blackstone company in partnership with Franklin Capital Partners), The Carlyle Group and AE Industrial Partners.
Currently with 80 members, AfBAA was launched in 2012 with the goal of representing the interests of the business aviation community in Africa. Ragheb and Rady Fahmy, executive director, work with the association’s founding members to lead development of the group.