The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) launched a new brokerage venture yesterday aimed at matching its members who require aircraft financing with 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.
Offshore-energy and medevac operator PHI reported substantially higher earnings for the first quarter, posting a net revenue gain of $40.9 million (to $178.9 million) compared with the same quarter last year. The company credits the gain to more deepwater oil exploration support work and an uptick in its air medical segment. Net earnings quadrupled from the same period in 2012, increasing to $8.8 million from $2.2 million.
There has hardly been a better time to be a buyer of business aircraft insurance, according to aviation insurance brokers, underwriters and industry consultants that AIN canvassed for this article. All signs definitely point to a buyer’s market, with some customers almost able to name their own price. While rates are already low, they could descend even further over the next 12 months if the industry stays on its current course.
Macquarie Infrastructure, the parent company of Atlantic Aviation, announced its first-quarter financial results last week, posting a 3.2-percent increase in Atlantic’s GA jet fuel sales on a same-store basis, over the opening quarter of last year. The chain’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose by 6.9 percent year-over-year. Macquarie expects to complete refinancing of Atlantic’s long-term debt this month, a move the company expects will give it more resiliency in case of another downturn in GA activity.
Bad weather, fewer patient transports and a higher percentage of uninsured patients combined to create a surprise loss during the first quarter at Air Methods, the largest air ambulance provider in the U.S. CEO Aaron Todd hinted that the downturn was just temporary.
With Hawker Beechcraft attempting to clear the final hurdle in Chapter 11 proceedings and emerge from bankruptcy, Judge Stuart Bernstein said earlier today that he would approve the joint plan of reorganization for all but one of the subsidiaries currently under Chapter 11 protection. Bernstein reserved judgment regarding the Hawker Beechcraft Corp.
JPMorgan North America Equity Research is forecasting a 5-percent rise in business jet deliveries this year, according to the firm’s latest monthly business jet report. It predicts that 627 business jets (excluding very light jets) will be shipped this year, compared with an estimated 596 jet deliveries last year.
Despite his rhetoric during a presidential debate that “corporate jets” should not get tax breaks, President Obama signed a bill–the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012–last week that extends the 50-percent accelerated depreciation for capital goods, notably including business aircraft, through the end of this year.
In a filing in bankruptcy court just before Christmas, Hawker Beechcraft asked for court approval to shed two underfunded pension plans covering some 9,500 non-union workers and retirees. The request is part of an agreement with the federal government’s Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) and the OEM’s machinists’ union. Terms of the agreement require PBGC to assume responsibility for the two terminated pensions, while Hawker Beechcraft will keep the pension plan covering its 8,200 current and former union employees. A hearing to consider the plan is scheduled for January 17.
Finding a pricing floor for many models has been as elusive as the search for Atlantis, but recent market action is giving hope to underwater sellers. The typical summer plumping of inventory never occurred this year, setting the stage for what could be an active wave of buying in the final quarter.