ExecuJet Streamlines Aircraft Financing with SimplyFly Service
ExecuJet Aviation is offering aircraft buyers a more direct and straightforward way to finance and operate business jets through its relaunched SimplyFly program. The package offers a quick decision on financing and the opportunity to have the aircraft managed.
SimplyFly is based on nonrecourse financing, where the loan is secured on the aircraft so if the borrower defaults, the lender’s recovery is limited to the aircraft. It does not require additional assets or personal guarantees and ExecuJet will manage and operate the aircraft. Also, should the client wish to make the aircraft available for charter to a third party, the company will arrange it. The Zurich, Switzerland-based company, which has offices worldwide, said monthly costs and hourly rates can be fixed.
These days fewer banks are willing to lend funds to support aircraft purchases, and those that do often require long and complex approval processes. Also, private banks in particular generally make loans conditional on clients giving them other assets to manage.
ExecuJet has secured access to a dedicated pool of capital via its main shareholder, the Irish financier Dermot Desmond. The funding provider is comfortable offering nonrecourse funding, because it knows that ExecuJet remains in control of the asset as the aircraft operator.
SimplyFly does require a 30-percent deposit on the value of the aircraft, which is about 5 percent more than other sources of funding. However, ExecuJet CEO Niall Olver argued that the premium is justified by the simplicity and flexibility that the program brings to the market and the fact ExecuJet is interested only in managing the aircraft in a mutually beneficial way and doesn’t use the loan as bait to win other financial services work.
“We found that customers still need aircraft but not to the extent that they want to put them on their balance sheets,” Olver told AIN. He said that SimplyFly is a turnkey solution in which ExecuJet sources the aircraft and handles all aspects of the purchase for the client.
If the client chooses to lease the aircraft (perhaps for tax purposes), then at the end of the five-year lease term, the client has the option to renew the lease or not.
Funding is available for new or pre-owned aircraft valued at $20 million or more and less than five years of age. Initially, ExecuJet has access to a pool of $400 million, but more funds could be made available subject to demand.
“We are committed to making sure that customers get the aircraft that’s right for them,” said Olver. “There is no point bringing into the [management] system an aircraft that is too expensive and that the customer is not happy with.”
With the all too real possibility of a new credit crunch triggered by the looming banking crisis in Europe, ExecuJet believes the time is right to offer an assured source of funding combined with a reliable way to operate the aircraft. “For us it is exciting because I don’t see aircraft financing lightening up since the last thing banks will be bullish about now is aircraft transactions,” concluded Olver.