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.
The private aircraft financing market in China has matured over the past several years with many sources of funding available for those wishing to purchase airplanes according to the experts here at ABACE. “I don’t think there is any lack of financing alternatives available,” said Jeffrey Lowe, general manager of aircraft ownership consultancy Asian Sky Group. “Pretty much all the international lenders are here and all the Chinese lender banks are involved in business aviation as well. A lot of them have set up leasing arms, so they are all diving in head first.”
On the heels of secured note private placement that brought in $575 million in cash earlier this week, helicopter lessor Milestone Aviation Group announced today that it has closed on an unsecured $200 million revolving credit line. This new facility increases Milestone’s unsecured borrowing capacity to $450 million and revolving borrowing capacity to $800 million.
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) recently launched AOPA Aviation Finance (AAF) Company, a loan brokerage venture aimed at matching association members who require aircraft purchase financing with suitable lenders. It will also help facilitate member loans for avionics updates, either through straight loans using the aircraft as collateral when it is fully owned, or through refinancing of the aircraft while it is still being paid off.
With financing for business aircraft still far from easy to secure, ExecuJet Aviation has stepped up its efforts to help get more people airborne through its SimplyFly Finance program. The plan is to offer fast-access, simplified nonrecourse financing in the shape of five-year loans or leases for up to 70 percent of the value of an aircraft worth at least $20 million and no more than five years old. An initial fund of $400 million provided by ExecuJet’s main shareholder Dermot Desmond is available to support the program.
In a statement released December 14, Standard & Poor’s rating services said its ratings and outlook on Wichita-based Hawker Beechcraft (HBC) are not affected by the aircraft manufacturer’s retention of Perella Weinberg Partners to help assess its revolving credit agreement, the terms of which were last amended more than two years ago. The HBC decision followed Standard & Poor’s December 1 announcement that it would cut its credit rating of HB to Caa3, saying the manufacturer may be facing a distressed debt restructuring.
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.
In a statement released last week, Standard & Poor’s rating services said its ratings and outlook on Wichita-based Hawker Beechcraft (HB) are not affected by the aircraft manufacturer’s retention of Perella Weinberg Partners to help assess its revolving credit agreement, the terms of which were last amended more than two years ago. The HB decision followed an announcement by Standard & Poor’s on December 1 that it would cut its credit rating of HB to Caa3, saying the manufacturer may be facing a distressed debt restructuring.
General aviation groups sent a joint letter to all members of Congress on Tuesday urging them to drop a proposal to charge a $25 “departure fee” on airline and GA flights. “Our community is deeply concerned about reports suggesting that current negotiations to raise the debt ceiling are giving rise to a resoundingly discredited approach to raising revenues from our industry–user fees,” the presidents of seven GA associations wrote.
Late last week, the parent company of Cedar City, Utah-based Metalcraft Technologies purchased the assets of the SJ30 light jet program from Emivest Aerospace for $3.5 million in cash. Emivest filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy last October.
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