Global Jet Capital CEO Shawn Vick doesn’t beat around the bush. “We are bullish on the business aviation industry,” he told AIN. The company provides business jets to clients via operating leases or a variety of loan vehicles.
Company COO Dave Labrozzi said Global Jet Capital (GJC, Booth N5121, SD08) is on track to nearly double the volume of business it did last year. “In the early days our business was 40 percent leases; yet we’ve written 70 percent of our business as leases this year,” he explained.
“We are growing steadily in the operating lease division,” said Vick. The business is simple: a customer places a deposit; GJC enters into a multiple-year lease of the aircraft, and when the customer returns the asset GJC places that aircraft back in the marketplace, either with a new client or with a charter/management company.
“We are not a bank. We draw the distinction because we have a different perspective around these assets and we have a deep understanding of the industry that the typical bank does not. We are uniquely positioned to provide expert asset management of business aircraft,” Vick continued.
Off-lease Aircraft on Display
GJC senior managing director of asset management Ben Murray, who came to the company from Landmark Aviation last year, is excited about the company’s static display at NBAA 2017. “We’ve brought an Embraer Lineage large-cabin, long-range jet that came off lease earlier this year. We canvassed the world to find the right aircraft partner for this asset and settled on Comlux,” he said.
Comlux will manage the airplane on behalf of GJC and will base the airplane in Europe. The aircraft was refurbished with a GJC logo paint scheme and a refreshed interior. Murray said the company has also brought three other aircraft in off-lease to the show, parked them at the FBO and made them available for viewing by potential clients. These include a Gulfstream V, a Hawker 400XP (new paint, interior and Wi-Fi) and a Citation X (available for turnkey lease with pilots).
Vick shepherded GJC through its formative 24 months, growing the leasing and lending company from 20 employees to more than 70. But it is the volume of business that his employees and executives have drummed up during that time that has Vick so optimistic.
“When we close out 2017 the prior 24 months will have generated about $1 billion in new underwriting business,” Vick said. “Our team is speaking to a lot of folks across the global markets. Clearly we’ve seen an uptick in business aviation activity that is global in nature. The OEMs that all made the challenging decision to reduce production levels are seeing it was the right decision. Unquestionably there was some oversupply."
“Utilization in the USA is up 4 percent this year. Western Europe hit the utilization level where it was at before the economic downturn,” said Vick. “All of the global markets are in ascension, despite the political issues. I think that it is becoming clear that the use of a business aircraft is in growth mode in all markets. I think you are going to see 2018 continue the positive trends of 2017.”