In the wake of recent airliner losses, carriers are bracing for substantial increases in insurance premiums when the main renewals season starts on November 1. Insurers have already made massive payouts for hull losses following the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 en route to Beijing and the apparent shooting down of MH17 over eastern Ukraine. Other recent losses have included the crash of Air Algerie’s flight AH5017 in southern Mali and TransAsia Airways flight GE222 in Taiwan. Further unsettling the risk environment for air transport have been recent attacks on airports in Pakistan, Israel, Afghanistan and Libya.
Charter hub Returnjet.com is extending free access to aircraft availability data to brokers in a bid to challenge the market dominance of rival portal Avinode. The change, which took effect July 14, will also allow operators who have registered their fleets with the site to have complimentary access to the real-time data.
Operators will continue to pay a 3-percent “introduction fee” for any flight conducted as a result of customer contact from the site. Returnjet plans to introduce reduced introduction fees for flights booked by brokers.
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.”
The Middle East Business Aviation Association’s efforts to help regulators take the initiative on pressing business aviation issues in the region, such as oversight and the gray-charter market, have helped to create debate in the Gulf, a market that is one of the most important to aircraft manufacturers.
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.
Last year marked another year of relatively soft rates in the general aviation insurance market, according to aviation insurance broker NationAir’s annual market analysis, released yesterday. “While the market conditions have remained the same for several years, the reasons for that soft market are changing,” noted company president Jeff Bauer.
Initially, increased market competition pushed rates down, he said. “Now, however, rates are being held down by the more long-term forces of structural overcapacity and, thankfully, favorable loss history.”
American International Group has agreed to sell its 100-percent stake in International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) to Netherlands-based aircraft leasing firm AerCap Holdings, the companies announced Monday.
The comment period for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on charter brokers is now closed. The NPRM stems from NTSB recommendations following the crash of a chartered Bombardier Challenger 601 on Nov. 28, 2004, in Montrose, Colo., which raised the issue of how difficult it can be for charter customers to know the identity of the charter operator when trips are arranged on their behalf.
Bill Snead, president of Wichita-based AOPA Insurance (Booth No. C10424)–a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association–put it most succinctly when he presented the company’s new options to members at NBAA 2013. “FBOs are our primary targets with our new commercial insurance offering. Beyond that, we are ready to insure corporate flight departments to a very high limit of liability,” he told AIN. “We know we can offer competitive rates, and that’s exciting.”
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