aviation finance

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    AINsight: Negotiating Business Aircraft Financing see more

    NAFA member, David G. Mayer, partner at Shackelford, Bowen, McKinley & Norton, LLP, discusses negotiating business aircraft financing.

    Like large companies, an increasing number of high/ultra-high-net-worth individuals apparently like using other people’s money (OPM) instead of cash to close private aircraft transactions. These transactions include true tax leases, sale leasebacks, financing leases, secured loans, and refinancing of private aircraft by lessors and lenders. These deals also cover a broad range of aircraft by value, cost, cabin size, age, make and model.

    It might just be my passing anecdotal experience that these “customers” seem to be more patient, flexible and engaged with their financiers than before the fourth quarter in resolving deal points that matter to them. Perhaps customers have discovered what I regularly see today: financiers, though controlled by bank regulations and internal credit policies, will work diligently and productively with their customers to develop structures and terms acceptable to their customers and the financier.

    For lessors and lenders, this apparent surge in financing activity is good news. Yet, they widely acknowledge that “cash is king” in how high/ultra-high net worth individuals typically purchase new and preowned aircraft. According to JetNet, cash wins over secured loans to purchase jets, in an estimated 70 percent of U.S. aircraft purchases or a lower percentage of cash purchases depending on other sources of the information.

    Financiers often encounter objections to financing like these: “I have cash available to buy the aircraft with minimal effect on my net worth”; “I really want to avoid the ‘brain damage’ associated with negotiating documentation, responding to onerous credit disclosure requests and abiding by restrictions that financiers will impose on me.”; and “I just prefer, like my buddies, to own the aircraft outright.”

    Some financiers apparently have found the magic sauce to overcome these typical customers’ objections when combined with three particular attributes of financing today that appear to underpin the elevation in financing activity.

    First and foremost, while money is cheap in the current highly competitive financing market, every client pursues the lowest loan or lease rates, though most lease pricing entails more variables and assumptions than loans.

    Some clients even acknowledge what is almost universally true: they can make more money using their cash elsewhere for their businesses or investments. Other clients simply prefer using OPM and holding their cash. With the current volatility in the stock market, coronavirus fears, and concerns about the future economy, OPM may, and maybe should, attract even more interest.

    Second, with the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, clients almost always ask whether the aircraft qualifies for bonus depreciation. Correspondingly, they assume, often incorrectly, that they can use and qualify to take these substantial tax benefits. What is important here are ways in which leasing still might enable customers to enjoy some of these tax benefits.

    How is that possible? Certain lessors can and do use the tax benefits in pricing leases—when setting rents and casualty values—sums lessees must pay the lessor on the occurrence of a total loss of the aircraft. These lessors can, but might not offer to, share the depreciation tax benefits with the lessee, primarily in the form of lower rents and casualty values.

    Importantly, the tax benefits might be available not only when the lessor purchases the aircraft directly from the third-party seller and leases the aircraft to the lessee/customer. These tax benefits might also be available when the lessor purchases the seller’s/lessee’s owned aircraft and leases it back to the seller/lessee. The latter strategy allows the seller/lessee to monetize the value of its aircraft while keeping possession and use of the aircraft subject to the new “sale leaseback” arrangement.

    In true operating or tax lease transactions, customers get a third benefit. Lessors assume the residual value risk arising out of aircraft ownership and leasing.

    Under federal income tax true lease guidelines and other applicable law, an owner/lessor must, among other requirements, retain continuous residual value risk during the lease term of not than 20 percent of the original cost of the aircraft. Residual value refers to the market value of the aircraft at the end of the applicable lease term.

    In reality, the residual value assumed usually far exceeds 20 percent due to the inherent value of aircraft, enabling lessors to assume far higher residual values. The customer is entirely free from residual value “downside” losses in value from, or “upside” gain over, assumed residual value in connection with any subsequent sale, lease or other disposition of the customer’s leased aircraft.

    THE RIGHT TEAM

    Although customers often have relationships with non-aviation professionals, aircraft transactions will almost always progress more easily, efficiently, and at a lower transaction cost with the right aviation team. It is imperative that the transaction team thoroughly understands and adopts a strategy to fully satisfy the customer’s desired participation, attitude towards the financing negotiation and distinguishing between the “must have” an “nice to have” modifications in the documentation.

    As a result, every financing transaction is unique, even when a financier provides basically the same “form” of documents to different customers covering similar aircraft. The right transaction team will understand the big issues, nuances, documents, and characteristics of the financier.

    Some clients want to negotiate/win every point. Others simply want the best loan or lease rates from financiers that will stay out of their businesses, minimize fast-trigger defaults, not reach for non-aircraft related collateral such as securities accounts, and impose the fewest restrictions on flight operations.

    To achieve the best outcome, the transaction team, especially brokers and technical advisors, should ideally participate starting before the hunt for the right aircraft. The customer should engage the other team members before the negotiation of the letter of intent  (LOI) or the financing proposal.

    For buyers, the key is to allow adequate time for tax planning, aviation regulatory structuring, identification of the best financier for the particular situation and risk management planning, especially in current volatile insurance markets.

    Financiers draft the financing documents in their favor even though they expect the provisions to change depending on the relative bargaining, credit, and relationship strength of the customer. True tax lease transactions usually entail more complex and opaque provisions than secured loans, including extensive aircraft maintenance requirements, aircraft return conditions and federal tax indemnification.

    For reasons that differ and do not appear to show a discernable pattern, more high and ultra-high net worth customers seem to be gravitating toward financing private aircraft. Perhaps these potential customers, on closer reflection, have concluded that aircraft financing has significant value and, with the right aircraft transaction team, are easier to close than they anticipated.

    The content provided above is intended for informational use only and does not constitute legal advice. Each person involved in these transactions should consult his or her aviation team advisors.

    David G. Mayer is a partner in the global Aviation Practice Group at Shackelford, Bowen, McKinley & Norton, LLP in Dallas, which handles worldwide private aircraft matters, including regulatory compliance, tax planning, purchases, sales, leasing and financing, risk management, insurance, aircraft operations, hangar leasing, and aircraft renovations. Mayer frequently represents aircraft owners, flight departments, lessees, borrowers, operators, sellers, purchasers, and managers, as well as lessors and lenders. He can be contacted at dmayer@shackelford.law.

    This article was originally published by AINonline on March 13, 2020.

     

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    Aircraft Purchases During Stock Market Swings see more

    NAFA member, Adam Meredith, President of AOPA Aviation Finance Company, discusses aircraft purchases during stock market swings.

    Q: Given the current volatility of the market, what advice are you giving to members contemplating an aircraft purchase?

    A: In times of volatility, in particular with wild stock market swings, you want to maintain as much cash as possible. Taking a methodical approach of buying into markets that are depressed is arguably more important than having the proverbial crystal ball that helps you get out of the market before a crash. That said, there has probably been no better time to obtain financing, whether it be for your house or airplane, or any other relatively stable asset then now. With interest rates for excellent credits on loans over $2M in the 2.5 to 3.0% range, this is truly an unheard-of period of time. Knowing what options are available is what AOPA Finance does best because of the strength and depth of our membership. Don’t wait to find out what your specific situation looks like, call us and find out how we can help you take advantage of this rare time. 

    This article was originally published by AOPA Aviation Finance Company on March 11, 2020.

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    We Florida Financial Joins National Aircraft Finance Association see more

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    EDGEWATER, Md. – March 12, 2020 – National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) is pleased to announce that We Florida Financial has recently joined its professional network of aviation service providers. 

    “NAFA members form a network of aviation finance services who diligently and competently operate with integrity and objectivity throughout the world. We’re excited to welcome We Florida Financial to our growing organization as we head to our 50th anniversary,” said Jim Blessing, president of NAFA.

    We Florida Financial is a Fort Lauderdale based credit union – combining old-fashioned values with 21st century technology. As a credit union, their focus is on individual attention and support at the most competitive rates.

    The company’s aviation lending program, We fly, offers loans for aircraft purchases, aircraft refinance, aircraft upgrades, and flight training. We fly was created to provide an exceptional and affordable financing solution for clients’ aviation dreams. 

    Much like NAFA, We Florida Financial is dedicated to community, shared purpose and mutual trust. We fly and NAFA are committed to their members, and in turn the growth and success of the aviation industry. 

    For more information about We Florida Financial, visit nafa.aero/companies/we-florida-financial.

    About NAFA:  

    The National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) is a non-profit corporation dedicated to promoting the general welfare of individuals and organizations providing aircraft financing and loans secured by aircraft; to improving the industry's service to the public; and to providing our members with a forum for education and the sharing of information and knowledge to encourage the financing, leasing and insuring of general aviation aircraft. For more information about NAFA, visit NAFA.aero.

     

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    King & Spalding Joins National Aircraft Finance Association see more

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    EDGEWATER, Md. – Feb. 27, 2020 – National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) is pleased to announce that King & Spalding has recently joined its professional network of aviation service providers. 

    “NAFA members form a network of aviation finance services who diligently and competently operate with integrity and objectivity throughout the world. We’re excited to welcome King & Spalding to our growing organization as we head to our 50th anniversary,” said Jim Blessing, president of NAFA.

    King & Spalding is an international law firm that represents a broad array of clients, including half of the Fortune Global 100, with more than 1,100 lawyers in 21 offices in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

    Celebrating more than 130 years of service, the firm has handled matters in over 160 countries on six continents and is consistently recognized for the results it obtains, uncompromising commitment to quality, and dedication to understanding the business and culture of its clients.

    The firm’s aviation finance lawyers have extensive experience advising clients on various financing structures involving aviation assets in North America, Europe, Asia, Oceania and South America – including operating leases, leveraged leases, capital leases, synthetic leases, syndicated and single-bank credit facilities as well as on purchases and sales of aircraft, engines and portfolios involving aircraft and aircraft-related assets.

    Much like NAFA, King & Spalding is dedicated to demonstrating professional excellence in service to clients. King & Spalding and NAFA are committed to educating and developing others in the field – ensuring long-term growth and success in the aviation industry. 

    For more information about King & Spalding, visit nafa.aero/companies/king-spalding-llp.

    About NAFA:  

    The National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) is a non-profit corporation dedicated to promoting the general welfare of individuals and organizations providing aircraft financing and loans secured by aircraft; to improving the industry's service to the public; and to providing our members with a forum for education and the sharing of information and knowledge to encourage the financing, leasing and insuring of general aviation aircraft. For more information about NAFA, visit NAFA.aero.

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    Choosing an aircraft from a financier's perspective see more

    NAFA member, Gary Crichlow, with Arc & Co. Aviation Finance, discusses points to consider when choosing an aircraft from a financier's perspective.

    In previous articles as part of our Aviation Insight series, we’ve explored the major benefits of availing yourself of aircraft finance: it preserves your cash flow, allowing you to redeploy capital away from a depreciating asset back into your business, or into investments that earn a return. 

    We’ve also looked at the financier’s motivations to extend finance: they need to demonstrate that they can generate an acceptable risk/return balance on the funds they commit against aircraft, in order to protect and enhance their license to operate. 

    With this in mind, we’ll now look at points to consider when choosing an aircraft from a finance-ability point of view. The more strongly these points inform your choice, the more likely it is that you’ll be in a position to secure the benefits of aviation finance without too many of the hurdles.

    1.     Aircraft suitability – financiers like to work with clients that can demonstrate experience and familiarity with the cost of owning or operating an aircraft. Ideal clients will evidence that they either have, or have solicited, the expertise to select an aircraft with a capability that fits their usage needs. The client will have budgeted realistic fixed and variable costs covering insurance, crew, scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, fuel, handling, etc; and can demonstrate the financial wherewithal to comfortably cover those costs.

    2.    Aircraft age– the overwhelming rule of thumb is that the younger the aircraft, the more readily financeable. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with well-maintained older aircraft, and there is a pool of financiers willing to lend against them for the right client; but generally speaking, younger aircraft in the 0-7 year old range are the easiest to finance competitively. 

    3.    Aircraft value – larger deals are generally more attractive. As with older aircraft, there is always finance available for smaller lends (below $5 million) for the right client, but there is a smaller pool to choose from, especially if other aspects of the deal are not straightforward. 

    4.    Aircraft market position – it’s easier to find finance for “liquid” aircraft: types that have a large customer base, are in well-established production and conform to “standard” in terms of capability, configuration and appearance. Financiers are generally more willing to lend money against an asset that they believe would be relatively easy to remarket if they had to. 

    5.    Aircraft maintenance programmes– practically every financier will require that at the very least, the engines be fully enrolled on an hourly maintenance support programme, offered by the manufacturer or by a reputable third-party such as JSSI.

    6.    Aircraft operator– the financier will generally want to be satisfied that the operator is competent, properly certified, reputable and fully independent of the client. You can generally expect a tripartite agreement will be required between the financier, the operator and the client. The purpose of this agreement is to enable the financier, in the event of a default, to have the operator secure the aircraft.

    7.    Aircraft due diligence– the financier will want to satisfy themselves that the aircraft condition is fully explored. For pre-owned aircraft this generally means an in-depth inspection that looks for things like records entries that are missing or not in English, damage history, corrosion, accidents & incidents, etc – the exact same issues that your technical expert should be alerting to you as a prospective buyer.

    8.     Aircraft regulatory compliance– your technical expert should advise on what is required for your usage in terms of, for example, avionics capability e.g. ADS-B, FANS-1/1A compliance (if you don’t understand that jargon, make sure you have a technical expert who does!). Bear in mind that a financier will generally want to see that it is compliant on a global (or at least a US or European) basis, and this includes looking ahead for scheduled upgrades or expected developments over the term of the financing.  

    What it boils down to is this: when evaluating an aircraft finance opportunity, lenders need to do their homework when it comes to the aircraft, and a key part of that is ensuring that you’ve done your homework too. Your interests, and the financier’s, are aligned: you both want comfort that the aircraft you’ve chosen is as it should be.

    This article was originally published by Arc & Co. Aviation Finance on July 15, 2019.

     

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    Sky Allies Capital Joins National Aircraft Finance Association see more
     

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    EDGEWATER, Md. – Nov. 13, 2019 – National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) is pleased to announce that Sky Allies Capital has recently joined its professional network of aviation lenders. 

    “NAFA members form a network of aviation finance services who diligently and competently operate with integrity and objectivity throughout the world. We’re excited to welcome Sky Allies to our growing organization as we head to our 50th anniversary,” said Jim Blessing, president of NAFA.

    Sky Allies is a group of finance and aviation industry professionals – financing and leasing airplanes, helicopters, flight simulators and other aviation or industrial and technological equipment. The company specializes in credit challenged borrowers and other abnormal deal opportunities. They also offer special hourly simulator leasing programs for flight schools.

    The company is privately held and based in Las Vegas, NV. Sky Allies is a member of the American Association of Commercial Finance Brokers and thereby adhere to a Code of Ethics Program as voted on by their broker members. Their principal has 26 years experience in the aviation industry, is a Citation 525 rated pilot, ATP and an airplane owner.

    Much like NAFA, Sky Allies Capital is focused on the financing of aircraft – putting business plans in the air. Sky Allies and NAFA are committed to the highest level of customer service, fostering long lasting business relationships throughout the aviation industry.

    For more information about Sky Allies Capital, visit nafa.aero/companies/sky-allies-capital.

    About NAFA:  

    The National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) is a non-profit corporation dedicated to promoting the general welfare of individuals and organizations providing aircraft financing and loans secured by aircraft; to improving the industry's service to the public; and to providing our members with a forum for education and the sharing of information and knowledge to encourage the financing, leasing and insuring of general aviation aircraft. For more information about NAFA, visit NAFA.aero.

     

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    How Can Borrowing More Cost Less? see more

    NAFA member, Adam Meredith, President of AOPA Aviation Finance Company, explains the credit matrix when looking for an aircraft loan.

    An AOPA Finance client recently requested a quote for financing a single-engine aircraft. He was looking to finance $70,000, and was quoted what the interest rate would be based on that figure. However, had the client borrowed $75,000 instead of $70,000, the rate would have been a whole percentage point lower, saving him money. Why is that?

    Many borrowers believe the way to get the best interest rate is through a large down payment and a great credit score. But actually the No. 1 factor in determining the interest rate offered on a loan is the amount of money being lent. Lenders structure each loan around a credit matrix. The matrix is comprised--among other things--of ranges of loan amounts, the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, an individual's total financial picture, and least of all, that person's credit score.

    Lenders group loans into "buckets," or ranges of loan amounts. For example, in the case of our client, one range included loan amounts from $50,000 to $74,999. Additionally, each range of loans has a default initial interest rate associated with it.

    In this case, the lender's next higher range had an interest rate one full percentage point lower associated with it. This client had said a top priority of his was to get the lowest possible interest rate. Therefore, we knew if our client had the flexibility to increase his loan by $5,000, it would put him in the higher range, where the default lending rate was better.

    Initially, he saw increasing the loan by $5,000 as beneficial only for the lender. We pointed out that this lender also had a loan structure that allowed for additional prepayments without penalty. If our client was willing to hold back $5,000 of his down payment and increase the loan to $75,000, he could, on Day 2 of the loan, take that held back $5,000 and apply it immediately to the principal. That would get him back to $70,000 on the loan while maintaining the lower interest rate of the $75,000 loan, thus saving him money. That’s one example of how borrowing more can cost less.

    Loan-to-value (LTV) is the second-most important element in constructing the credit matrix. LTV is a financial term used by lenders to express the ratio of a loan to the value of the asset purchased. Generally, an LTV of 80%-85% is deemed an acceptable risk. LTV requirements are most frequently influenced by the aircraft and how quickly it is likely to depreciate. In other words, LTV requirements may be applied on a sliding scale. Generally, the more quickly a plane is likely to depreciate, the more money down or lower an acceptable LTV and vice versa. Additionally, by putting even more money down and thus lowering the LTV you can frequently gain better interest rates and terms.

    The last, and least important, component of the credit matrix is one's credit score. Despite what retail financial institutions and credit reporting agencies pushing credit protection products advertise in the media, credit scores for aircraft loans have only a small influence on how lenders determine a loan's interest rate. The difference between a good credit score and a great credit score might be a mere quarter of a percent. It’s a lousy credit score that will hurt the most. A poor credit score may cost the borrower a full percentage point, or the loan itself.

    Ultimately, obtaining the best loan for you is about providing you the best perspective on all aspects of it. AOPA Finance brokers stand ready to share the kind of knowledge, nuance and expertise that can navigate you to the best loan for your situation.

    This article was originally published by AOPA Aviation Finance Company on May 28, 2019.

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    Wings Insurance Joins National Aircraft Finance Association see more

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    EDGEWATER, Md. – Nov. 11, 2019 – National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) is pleased to announce that Wings Insurance has recently joined its professional network of aviation service providers. 

    “NAFA members form a network of aviation finance services who diligently and competently operate with integrity and objectivity throughout the world. We’re excited to welcome Wings to our growing organization as we head to our 50th anniversary,” said Jim Blessing, president of NAFA.

    Wings Insurance is one of the largest aviation risks-only insurance brokers in the country, maintaining five office locations in the USA (Daytona Beach, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Chicago and Denver) and a customer base of over 2500 clients. The company’s aviation insurance reach encompasses every state in the USA along with global insurance placements in most EU, Middle East and Asian locales.

    Wings Insurance began in 1984, specializing in aviation insurance on a regional level. Since inception, the business has experienced a steady rate of growth, and almost 35 years later they offer global insurance solutions through a world-wide network of solution providers with over 100 years of combined aviation insurance experience.

    With their hands-on background in both the aviation and insurance industries, Wings has the resources to help their clients make informed decisions, whether it involves purchasing, financing, tax, legal, transitions or recurrent training. The company aims to provide the best coverages at the lowest price point available and solidify long-term partnerships through responsive customer service, creativity, and integrity. Wings is also one of only three International Aircraft Dealers Association (IADA) endorsed insurance brokerage firms. 

    Much like NAFA, Wings Insurance is dedicated to the highest quality of service to their clients and business associates – delivered with a sense of friendliness and individual pride. Wings and NAFA are committed to fostering industry knowledge and leading-edge technology throughout the aviation industry.

    For more information about Wings Insurance, visit nafa.aero/companies/wings-insurance.

    About NAFA:  

    The National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) is a non-profit corporation dedicated to promoting the general welfare of individuals and organizations providing aircraft financing and loans secured by aircraft; to improving the industry's service to the public; and to providing our members with a forum for education and the sharing of information and knowledge to encourage the financing, leasing and insuring of general aviation aircraft. For more information about NAFA, visit NAFA.aero.

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    NAFA Announces Dawn Hudson as Keynote Speaker for 49th Annual Conference see more

    NAFA Announces Dawn Hudson as Keynote Speaker for 49th Annual Conference

     

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    EDGEWATER, Md. – November 11, 2019 – The National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) is pleased to announce that Dawn Hudson will be the keynote speaker at their upcoming 49th Annual Conference, to be held April 28th through May 1st, 2020, at The Meritage Resort in Napa Valley, California. Hudson will be presenting to an audience of aviation industry and finance experts with a global reach – supporting or enabling the financing of general and business aviation aircraft throughout the world. 

    Widely recognized as one of the most important female business executives of the past decade, Dawn Hudson is the former Chief Marketing Officer at the National Football League and the former President and CEO of Pepsi Cola North America. She has led an impressive career spanning high-level posts in media, retail, consumer goods, consulting, and healthcare at some of the biggest corporations in the world. 

    Hudson’s work has been focused on revolutionizing and strengthening brands’ positioning and marketing, tapping into culture change as fuel for innovative business strategies, and championing inclusive leadership and diversity. She has been recognized as the “Most Vital Leader in Tech, Media, and Marketing” by AdWeek – topping a list of 50 industry titans – and twice as one of Fortune magazine’s “50 Most Powerful Women in Business.” 

    Dawn Hudson is an electric speaker – as an advocate of smart reinvention and growth, she shares insights on turning adversity into an advantage, building a global presence, and why in today’s business climate innovation must be central to everything from distribution to selling stories to human capital management. Hudson speaks about the power of brand, how to embrace change and drive innovation, and the importance of strong and inclusive leadership.

    The 49th Annual Meeting of the National Aircraft Finance Association will bring together the most active aircraft lenders in North America and worldwide to network and discuss issues topical to the industry, including: aviation regulatory changes, banking system regulatory changes, updates on new aircraft entering the marketplace, and other issues pertinent to aircraft buyers and their support systems. 

    “Dawn Hudson is an amazing mind with sharp insights into driving innovation, leadership and inclusion for successful business practices, and we are thrilled to have her speaking to our members and other attendees at the upcoming conference,” said Jim Blessing, President of NAFA. Hudson will present on “Inclusive Leadership” for the approximately 250 attendees on Thursday, April 30th, 2020. Additional details and time will be determined at a later date – visit NAFA.aero/events for information.

    For more information about Dawn Hudson, visit leadingauthorities.com/speakers/dawn-hudson.

    About NAFA: 

    The National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) is a non-profit corporation dedicated to promoting the general welfare of individuals and organizations providing aircraft financing and loans secured by aircraft; to improving the industry's service to the public; and to providing our members with a forum for education and the sharing of information and knowledge to encourage the financing, leasing and insuring of general aviation aircraft. For more information about NAFA, visit NAFA.aero.

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    Is There a Minimum Purchase Price to Obtain a 10-Year Loan? see more

    NAFA member, Adam Meredith, President of AOPA Aviation Finance Company, answers your aviation loan questions. 

    Q: What's the minimum purchase price to obtain a 10-year loan? I'm looking at aircraft in the $20K-$30K range after 1960.

    A: Thank you for reaching out. The minimum loan amount required for a 10-year term is $20,000. This is after the minimum 15% down payment. Therefore, the minimum purchase price should be around $24,000.  Please feel free to give us a call as you get closer to purchasing. We always recommend that AOPA pilots get pre-approved as they shop.

    Q: I'm thinking of buying my first plane. Would you finance an experimental one? The one I am looking at this moment is a SONEX 2016, tri-gear, with asking price of $39K. What is rate and term?

    A: A number of our lenders offer financing on experimental aircraft. In some cases, a lender may require that the aircraft have an appraisal. Our account executives will discuss that requirement with you early in the application process. A SONEX is common enough that an appraisal is not likely needed. For a purchase price of $39,000 rates will fall around 7.5% for 10 years. Keep in touch as you search. Our account executives can help with providing rate quotes and valuations as you shop around.

    This article was originally published by AOPA Aviation Finance Company on June 12, 2019.

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    NBT Bank Joins National Aircraft Finance Association see more

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

     

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – November 4, 2019 – National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) is pleased to announce that NBT Bank recently joined its professional network of aviation lenders. 

    “NAFA members form a network of aviation finance services who diligently and competently operate with integrity and objectivity throughout the world. We’re excited to welcome NBT Bank to our growing organization as we head to our 50th anniversary,” said Jim Blessing, President of NAFA.

    NBT Bank offers personal and business banking, commercial banking and wealth management services from locations in seven states, including New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and Connecticut and through its online and mobile channels. The bank added small aircraft financing to its array of lending options in 2019 and hired Douglas N. Place, Jr. as vice president of Aircraft Financing to lead their efforts. Place has nearly 15 years of experience in the financial services industry, including 10 years in aviation financing. He is also a private pilot and a member of the Board of Directors for the Greater Lawrence, MA Airport Authority.

    “NBT Bank is dedicated to building strong relationships and delivering high-quality service to our customers,” said Place. “I am proud to be a part of the NBT team and to deliver small aircraft financing as an enhancement to the bank’s business options. We’re very excited to join NAFA and foster long-term, mutually-beneficial relationships throughout the aviation finance community.”

    Established in 1856, NBT Bank is headquartered in Norwich, NY with its parent company, NBT Bancorp Inc. NBT Bancorp Inc. had assets of $9.7 billion as of September 30, 2019 and is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol NBTB.

    NBT Bank appeared on the Forbes 2019 World’s Best Banks list as the top-ranked bank in Maine,  New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. Of the 60 U.S. banks on the list, NBT Bank was ranked #14. Forbes surveyed more than 40,000 customers around the globe and rated banks on overall recommendation and satisfaction as well as five subdimensions (trust, terms and conditions, customer services, digital services and financial advice).

    For more information about NBT Bank, visit nafa.aero/companies/nbt-bank.

    About NAFA:  

    The National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) is a non-profit corporation dedicated to promoting the general welfare of individuals and organizations providing aircraft financing and loans secured by aircraft; to improving the industry's service to the public; and to providing our members with a forum for education and the sharing of information and knowledge to encourage the financing, leasing and insuring of general aviation aircraft. For more information about NAFA, visit NAFA.aero.

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    Elevate Jet Joins National Aircraft Finance Association see more

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    EDGEWATER, Md. – October 18, 2019 – National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) is pleased to announce that Elevate Jet recently joined its professional network of aviation lenders. 

    “NAFA members form a network of aviation finance services who diligently and competently operate with integrity and objectivity throughout the world. We’re excited to welcome Elevate Jet to our growing organization as we head to our 50th anniversary,” said Jim Blessing, President of NAFA.

    Elevate Jet, a subsidiary of Elevate Holdings, is a trusted and professional single-source set of solutions for private jet owners and flyers, offering aircraft management, corporate shuttle, consultancy, and advisory services. The company has been serving private aviation with professional services since 2003, advising private flyers concerning their aviation interests.

    Elevate is a premier aircraft management company founded on the growing need for boutique style aircraft management. The company is designed to align with their clients’ mission profiles, providing highly customized services to private aircraft owners and flyers. Their experienced aviation team has a wealth of industry knowledge and intelligence that ensures exemplary levels of bespoke service in aircraft management and aircraft consultancy

    Much like NAFA, Elevate Jet places great importance on fostering knowledge, experience and trustworthiness throughout the aviation industry, providing the highest levels of professionalism in aviation asset management advisory.

    “Elevate Jet takes our fiscal responsibilities to our managed aircraft owners seriously, as well as to the clients that retain us to provide aviation advisory services,” said Patti Ann Sullivan, Executive Vice President – Aircraft Management. “The NAFA forums for discussion of issues impacting the aviation and finance industry, exploration of best practices and review of risk mitigation strategies, along with continuous education benefit the industry and the aircraft owners and flyers that we are fortunate to serve. It is for these reasons Elevate Jet is pleased to be a member of the esteemed NAFA association." 

    For more information about Elevate Jet, visit nafa.aero/companies/elevate-jet-llc.

    About NAFA:  

    The National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) is a non-profit corporation dedicated to promoting the general welfare of individuals and organizations providing aircraft financing and loans secured by aircraft; to improving the industry's service to the public; and to providing our members with a forum for education and the sharing of information and knowledge to encourage the financing, leasing and insuring of general aviation aircraft. For more information about NAFA, visit NAFA.aero.

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    Painting the Financial Picture see more

    NAFA member Adam Meredith, President of AOPA Aviation Finance Company, shares what items you need when preparing to finance an aircraft. 

    "You don't really need all of this financial information, do you?" It’s a question often asked by AOPA Finance clients. Yes, yes we do. If you want the lowest rate, the most competitive structuring, the least amount down, and the lowest payment, an exhaustive analysis of your credit worthiness must be made.

    Financial Documentation

    IRS Schedule Cs or Schedule Es are not enough. While they may indicate whether the ownership structure has any pass-through income on an individual's tax return, the description of that pass-through income is summarized as a line item or two. Likewise, K-1s only indicate percentages of a shareholder’s income and liabilities. Line items and percentages don’t tell the whole story. Full tax returns do.

    Global Cash Flow

    Your tax summaries may show cash going from one related entity to another. But are you actually taking from the “left pocket and putting it in the right pocket?” If so, that isn't real money, is it? The lender will net that out of your “global cash flow.” Global cash flow—also known as a Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows—is a listing of all the various entities in which a person has ownership and what their net cash flow from all the entities is.

    And then there’s the global debt schedule.

    Global Debt Schedule

    What is a global debt schedule? It’s a comprehensive list of all the ownership entities. It’s a listing of the actual total debts of each entity in which the individual has ownership. It details what the total amount owed is, and to whom. What the monthly payments are. How much is interest versus how much is principal. It also includes maturity dates for all debt.

    Depending upon what one’s business relationship is with his partners, the lender may require additional documents to help fill in holes in the financial picture. Those might include hypothecation, subordination, or even side agreements.  A hypothecation agreement could be submitted from the controlling party acknowledging the CEO emeritus is entering into a financial relationship.

    Speaking of partners, imagine a borrower has two partners and he owns one-third of the business. Some lenders may require the other two partners’ to be party to the transaction.

    For some, that’s just too much. They’re only going to have the loan for three years so the “pain-in-the-neck” factor is not worth their time and effort. Other folks just don't want to disclose all their financial information for personal reasons. Still others have obligations with lenders elsewhere that restrict them from guaranteeing debt or have covenants in place from other business debt. For these individuals, a collateral-based loan might be the more appropriate option. The trade-off is simplicity for a little bit higher interest rate.

    Collateral Based Loans

    A collateral-based deal might proceed more quickly from initial inquiry to funding but it does come with a different paperwork burden. Even so, the process is usually far less onerous. Banks will conduct an exhaustive search on the quality of the individual as well as on the aircraft. For the individual, they want to know if this person has filed bankruptcy. Do they have tax liens against them? Are there pending lawsuits on them, for any reason? A person applying for a collateral-based loan should be crystal clear how good or bad their character looks on paper.

    Every time an AOPA Finance advisor must request additional information because our client’s paperwork is incomplete adds additional stress to the process. Bottom line-- there are no shortcuts. A transparent, painless credit deal requires in-depth financial paperwork.

    This article was originally published by AOPA Aviation Finance Company on June 12, 2019.

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    Financing An Aircraft Before It's Moved To The U.S. With FAA Registration see more

    NAFA member, Adam Meredith, President of AOPA Aviation Finance Company, answers your questions about loans for engine replacements and aircraft financing.

    Q: We are looking for financing options to purchase a pressurized Baron that is currently based and registered in Canada. I am writing to ask if you’d be willing to finance this aircraft before it is moved and transferred to the US with FAA registration?

    A: For aircraft being imported from Canada our lenders will require that the deregistration from Transport Canada and new FAA registration be completed prior to releasing funds to the seller. In most cases lenders are able to position funds in escrow while the import is completed. Imports from Canada typically only take a couple days. Give us a call to discuss further. We can also help you set up escrow with our AOPA Strategic Partner, Aero-Space Reports.

    Q: I own my aircraft outright. Do you provide loans for engine replacements?

    A: Yes, like avionics upgrades, our lenders will finance up to 85% of the aircraft value with an overhauled engine. Having no debt on the aircraft potentially allows for the lender to finance the full cost of the overhaul. Call us today so we can get you started on the application and approval.

    This article was originally published by AOPA Aviation Finance Company on July 30, 2019.

  • Tracey Cheek posted an article
    Lending Associates joins National Aircraft Finance Association see more

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    EDGEWATER, Md. – September 1, 2018 - National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) is pleased to announce that Lending Associates has recently joined its professional network of aviation lenders. “NAFA members proudly finance - support or enable the financing of - general and business aviation aircraft throughout the world, and we’re happy to add Lending Associates to our association,” said Ford von Weise, President of NAFA.

    Lending Associates is a provider of financing solutions for recreational and commercial aircraft acquisitions, working with a large network of quality lenders to ensure the most competitive loan rates. With years of experience, their team of experts are available to answer client questions throughout the process, helping consumers and industry professionals alike navigate today’s complex financing process. 

    Lending Associates matches the best lender to their clients’ specific financing needs, maintaining the utmost privacy and confidentiality. Their loan specialists work to design a financing program to best meet each unique situation. From the initial consultation to loan closing and ongoing servicing of the loan, the company is committed to the needs and goals of the client.

    "Lending Associates is proud to join NAFA in its efforts to support private aviation. From what I have seen, the members of this association have a passion for aviation and a history of moving the industry forward from all aspects, not just finance," stated Grant Smalling, President of Lending Associates. 

    Much like NAFA, Lending Associates is dedicated to fostering quality, professional service throughout the aviation finance industry. Lending Associates and NAFA promote excellence in aircraft finance through their commitment to the consumer’s goals. 

    For more information about Lending Associates, visit https://www.lending-associates.com/.

    About NAFA:  

    The National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) is a non-profit corporation dedicated to promoting the general welfare of individuals and organizations providing aircraft financing and loans secured by aircraft; to improving the industry's service to the public; and to providing our members with a forum for education and the sharing of information and knowledge to encourage the financing, leasing and insuring of general aviation aircraft. For more information about NAFA, visit www.NAFA.aero.