Covid-19 induced crisis in commercial passenger aviation is transforming both passenger and freight airliner ownership patterns. As a result, significant new growth opportunities are now emerging in the private aviation sector.

By zedraadmin


High net worth and ultra-high net worth Middle and Far Eastern cash buyers now swoop in to buy up idle passenger planes, then convert these to freight use.

Change on this scale has also led to business booming in related markets, such as the private aeroplane and helicopter registration sector, reports ZEDRA, in the joint expert comment with Fly Elite Jets.

Andrew Wilson, Head of Marine and Aviation at ZEDRA, who advise on ownership and taxation structures for private jets, notes substantial interest in the market for private jets over the last year.

“At the start of lockdown in March 2020, we saw all sectors slow dramatically, as it was not clear at that time how the new market reality would look. Now twelve months on, it is clear that commercial passenger aviation is likely to remain subdued for some time, even with the vaccine programme rolling out successfully in the UK, but demand for private jet ownership has soared. In particular, we are seeing increasing enquiries around new ownership structures, as leasing companies move assets, i.e. aircraft, away from commercial airlines into the hands of high net worth and ultra-high net worth private clients. These groups may be buying distressed assets or repurposing an asset, either way, we have seen a sustained increase in the level of enquiries and new business around the registration of private jets, the demand for advice on how best to hold this asset and of course jurisdictional registration questions”.

Demand for traditional private jet ownership is also soaring as business leaders look to adapt to the new reality of border controls and enforced quarantines by shifting international business meetings onto a day return basis. At the same time, private helicopter ownership and usage is booming, as CEOs fly directly point to point for meetings, avoiding contact with the wider public.

Aircraft are now rarely on the ground with demand up by 70% since the third quarter of 2020, as business owners and VIP travel starts in earnest.

If you have your aircraft in one of the key jurisdictions suitable for marine and aviation structuring, including Cayman Islands, Isle of Man, Hong Kong, Jersey, Guernsey, Netherlands, Singapore, and Switzerland contact Andrew Wilson, Head of Marine and Aviation at ZEDRA.

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