The business jet market in North America continues to recover, while in Western Europe it is “off the bottom,” UBS Global Research aerospace analysts noted yesterday. “Bizjet deliveries into North America have grown modestly in each of the last several years and we anticipate further improvement in [this region] driven by pent-up corporate replacement demand,” they said.
The Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) expanded its aviation insurance program (MAIS) to include coverage for MROs, pilots, ground handlers, refuelers, fuel sales agents and other industry stakeholders. The association launched the aviation insurance group discount program for operators at the 2011 Dubai Airshow.
As the softness of the aviation insurance market continues to drive premiums down, aviation insurance underwriters, brokers and agents are struggling to make money. In fact, when asked how much lower premiums could fall before they hit bottom, Aviation Insurance Association (AIA) president Franklin Bass told AIN, “I thought we were there last year.”
“We think a sustained recovery in business jet utilization is necessary to drive improvement in the new aircraft cycle,” UBS Investment Research aerospace analysts said in their latest business jet market update, released yesterday. “Without a recovery in utilization we still see the market as oversupplied.”
Nextant Aerospace launched a financing plan that targets aircraft costing between $2 million and $10 million, a market it says has been underserved by banks in recent years. The company is offering a range of flexible financing packages for customers pursuing the Nextant 400XTi light jet and G90XT twin turboprop. Terms are available from two to 20 years, and a variety of lease types are available. Fixed or floating rates are offered, with fully amortizing or balloon payments.
“The European business aviation market recovery is lagging that of the U.S. market by 12 to 18 months,” Chad Anderson, president of business jet broker Jetcraft (static display), told AIN here at EBACE 2014. “Many European operators are rightsizing their fleets, which makes this a stronger recovery. However, there is still a lot of price fragility in the pre-owned business jet market.”
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.
Product liability insurance isn’t your everyday policy. “Without experience in aviation law, regulations and coverages, generalist insurers don’t understand the risks,” explained Jaime Benthusen, product liability director for NationAir Aviation Insurance (Booth No. 5105). Benthusen was on hand at Heli-Expo 2014 to introduce the company’s product liability coverage and risk assessments for rotor-wing aftermarket parts firms.
San Francisco-based Macquarie Rotorcraft Leasing (MRL, Booth No. 7802) announced yesterday here at Heli-Expo the purchases of two Sikorsky S-92A twin-engine helicopters for its growing fleet aimed at supporting operators in the oil-and-gas and search-and-rescue markets. The two S-92s will be leased back to Avincis subsidiary Bond Offshore Helicopters and will be delivered in the second quarter of 2014.
William Chiles, who has led global offshore helicopter services company Bristow Group for the last decade, will retire effective July 31 and be replaced by current CFO Jonathan Baliff. Chiles will remain as a consultant to the company through 2016. During Chiles’s tenure, Bristow grew rapidly and posted record profits. Baliff, who held senior positions at NRG Energy and Credit Suisse before joining Bristow in 2010, is a former USAF pilot with degrees in aerospace engineering and international relations.
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