Skip to Main Content

buying an aircraft

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    The Demand for Non-Airworthy Aircraft Remains see more

    NAFA member, Duncan Aviation's Tim Barber, EMEA Aircraft Sales - London, UK, discusses the demand for non-airworthy aircraft. 

    At the beginning of 2021, there was an abundance of aircraft, airworthy and non-airworthy, on the market. That wasn’t the case by the end of the year, and prices were skyrocketing.

    I had a CL-605 for sale that would have struggled to get $12M at the start of 2021.

    I presented an offer to the owner for $12M. The owner decided the offer wasn’t competitive enough and did not accept it. The aircraft returned to the market a year later and received an offer for over $15M.

    During 2022, we saw a 25-50%, and often higher, price hike on aircraft. Buyers panicked as prices rose, and owners took advantage of the opportunity by increasing prices. It became a sellers’ market rather quickly.

    There were several reasons for the price hike. The most prominent were the Presidential election in the United States and the Covid pandemic.

    People anticipated that with the change in Presidency, the bonus depreciation would disappear. The Covid pandemic played an equally important role as people who had the means to fly private were taking full advantage of the opportunity.

    Currently, prices remain higher than usual, but they aren’t spiraling up or down. The light to super mid-range aircraft are still carrying a healthy premium due to the demand of charter companies, but this isn’t the only sector that’s thriving.

    Read full article here.

    This article was originally published by Duncan Aviation in February 2023.

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    Reduced Inventory Will Likely Sustain Business Jet Prices in 2023 Because Private Jet Travel ... see more

    NAFA member, Stephen Hofer, President of Aerlex Law Group, discusses the outlook of the 2023 business aviation market.

    What will happen to the business aviation market in 2023? That’s the $64,000 question on everyone’s mind now as we come to end of 2022 and what has been a truly unprecedented 18-month paroxysm in market growth. Everyone in the industry, from aircraft brokers, sellers and buyers to management companies, charter providers, aircraft maintenance and repair facilities and even hangar landlords, would like to know the answers as they draft their business plans and draw up their budgets with a new calendar in mind.

    I attended the 2022 Corporate Jet Investor Miami Conference in early November at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach and several panels were devoted to forecasting the future. Rollie Vincent, president of Rolland Vincent Associates, LLC and co-creator of JETNET iQ, and Wayne Starling, executive director of the International Aircraft Dealers Association (IADA), two seasoned veterans of the industry with more than 60 years of experience under their collective belts, looked to the numbers rather than tea leaves in an effort to glean the answers.

    Starling shared data from IADA’s Third Quarter 2022 Market Report and Quarterly Forecast based on information collected from some 50 dealer/members with 300 brokers (full disclosure, Aerlex Law Group is an IADA Products and Services Member) and it indicated that the third quarter of 2022 was nearly as busy as the whirlwind third quarter of 2021 when the post-Covid 19 recovery first erupted. The numbers were impressive – 331 completed transactions in 3Q 2022 versus 340 in 3Q 2021 and 355 deals under contract in 3Q 2022 versus 360 in 3Q 2021 – although there were a few statistics that suggested a slowdown may be in the offing: 31 transactions with lowered prices in 3Q 2022 versus only 7 in 3Q 2021 and 162 new acquisition agreements in 3Q 2022 versus 190 in 3Q in 2021.

    Read full article here


    This article was originally published in BusinessAir Magazine, November 2022, Volume 32, No. 11.

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    What's Important When Importing an Aircraft? see more

    NAFA member, Duncan Aviation, discusses purchasing and importing aircraft into the U.S.

    The secondary aircraft market in the United States is very tight with little available inventory. Many transactions are negotiated and closed without the aircraft ever officially entering the market. For this reason, serious aircraft buyers are exploring opportunities outside of the country where many high-quality well-maintained aircraft are available.

    Importing an aircraft into the U.S. for purchase is a complicated process, and is sometimes performed with the buyer not actually seeing the aircraft until after the sale has been closed and is flown to the United States. Having a skilled aircraft sales broker on your team navigating the process can make the experience a positive one.

    Is the aircraft considered unairworthy by the FAA?

    Prior to beginning an aircraft sales negotiation in a foreign market, the aircraft’s modification status needs to be determined, and what is required if the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) finds them to be unacceptable.

    Just because an aircraft meets EASA standards is not a guarantee that the FAA feels the same way. If the aircraft you are considering has had any modifications, they may not be acceptable to the FAA.

    Additional modifications or a reversal of the existing modifications may be required before it can be imported into the United States. And that will impact the price. And before settling on a price, determine the availability of the necessary parts, resources, and downtime required to perform the additional mods.

    Read full article here

    This article was originally published by Duncan Aviation in October 2022.

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    NAFA Welcomes New Member: Cogent Bank see more

    Contact Information:

    Jim Crowley 
    Managing Director, Business Aviation Finance 

    Margaret Francik
    Operations Manager, Business Aviation Finance 

    Patty Ingram 
    Credit Officer, Business Aviation Finance 


    NAFA Welcomes New Member: Cogent Bank 

    National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) is pleased to announce that Cogent Bank has recently joined its network of aviation professionals. Cogent Bank, based in Orlando, Florida, provides jet financing through its Business Aviation vertical.  

    “NAFA members proudly support those companies that finance, support or enable the financing of general and business aviation aircraft throughout the world and extend a warm welcome to Cogent Bank into our association,” said Jim Blessing, president of NAFA.  

    About Cogent Bank: 

    Business Aviation is a new initiative for Cogent Bank, spearheaded by Jim Crowley, managing director of business aviation and Margaret Francik, vice president, business aviation finance operations manager, both industry veterans.  

    Cogent Bank’s Business Aviation vertical serves a variety of aircraft, from turboprop to ultra-long-range aircraft, with transactions ranging from $3 million to $25 million. The Business Aviation vertical provide Cogent Bank clients with bank balance sheet credit profiles, structured finance opportunities, select floor planning and loans and leases, with a risk-reward pricing model and streamlined credit and execution capabilities.  

    Cogent Bank offers a full range of commercial banking services and continually enhances its services to meet its clients’ needs. As a result, Cogent Bank has seen impressive growth across all its verticals. Cogent Bank has recently expanded its Private Wealth vertical and added new Public Finance, Blockchain Enabled Companies and cannabis banking verticals.  

    About NAFA:  

    The National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) is a professional association that has been promoting the general welfare of aircraft finance for 50 years. Our network of members is comprised of lenders and product service providers who work together to finance general and business aviation aircraft. NAFA sets the standard for best practices in aviation finance by educating its members with the most up-to-date industry trends and best practices. Government legislation, market influences and industry insights allow member companies to provide the highest quality services the industry has to offer. The company now has three offices: Geneva, New York City and Dubai. 

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    Don't Be Afraid of Commitment see more

    NAFA member, Duncan Aviation, discusses six reasons why you’re better off going exclusive with an aircraft broker.


    Aircraft sales brokers frequently talk to owners who believe they are better served to have their aircraft represented by multiple brokers rather than committing to an exclusive agreement. They believe this will raise the aircraft’s market exposure, increasing the likelihood of it selling quickly, and result in a more lucrative transaction. This is rarely the case.

    A reputable aircraft broker will typically not enter into a non-exclusive contract. Here are six reasons why you’re better off going exclusive.


    I met with an owner who had two aircraft for sale. One was already on the market without an exclusive agreement, and the owner was planning to make the same sale arrangements for the second aircraft.

    After 30 minutes of research, I found the first aircraft represented by five brokers at three prices, all with different total aircraft hours. One broker even failed to mention the engine programs. This illustrates the feeding frenzy mentality and misinformation that prevails when an aircraft is in the market without exclusivity.

    After the owner discovered how his first aircraft was being represented, I secured the exclusive agreement of the second aircraft.


    With no certainty of getting paid, non-exclusive brokers typically do not invest much time and money to represent an aircraft thoroughly. These informal arrangements create competition among brokers instead of buyers, so the non-exclusive broker may lean toward persuading the seller to lower the price quickly in an attempt to get the first bite. There is not the same incentive for a non-exclusive broker to ensure that the seller’s best interests come first.

    Read full article here

    This article was originally published by Duncan Aviation in December 2022.

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    Look for Professionals When Acquiring an Aircraft see more

    Aircraft demand has skyrocketed. The widespread return to traveling, the reduction of commercial flights and many more factors have nudged people toward the benefits of corporate aviation.  

    However, the aircraft buying process is competitive, and many prospective buyers have put rational decision-making aside to outbid and secure the aircraft they want. Some buyers even short-cut key processes and due diligence to meet their travel needs as soon as possible. This can result in less-than-ideal situations for all parties involved, including buyers being in an upside-down position on their aircraft when they look to sell.  

    It’s important to remember that aircraft ownership and management is a long game. Hiring qualified and knowledgeable aircraft industry professionals from the initial steps to the purchase and through the back end will result in a smoother ownership process.  

    Pitfalls in the current market 

    The purchasing process for an aircraft is very different from other large purchases and should not be treated like other assets, such as real estate or equipment. Many prospective buyers can get caught up in buying on emotion or cutting corners to save time and costs. In addition, some potential buyers eager to own an aircraft may avoid the valuation process to outbid other prospective buyers and get the deal done.  

    To ensure a sound financial decision, prospective buyers should first hire advisors who are experts in business aviation. Experts can aid in proper valuation and recommend a loan structure for purchasing an aircraft.   

    “Most people want to finance airplanes for five or more years, but the typical ownership is three to four years,” said Keith Hayes, senior vice president and National Sales Manager for PNC Aviation Finance. “So, somewhere during the life of their loan, there is a good chance they will elect to sell their plane and pay off the corresponding loan early. If the loan is not properly structured up front, in today’s “inflated” market, there is a good chance the client may owe the lender more than the future value of the plane….this potentially leads to an unhappy client that cannot move forward with their plans to purchase a new plane.”  

    The current registration backlog has also led many new buyers to look for ways to speed up the process. Instead of relying on expert aviation services, many new buyers try working with a referral or friend not trained in the aviation business.   

    How to manage the aircraft acquisition process 

    1.  Understand your emotions 

    So, other prospective buyers suddenly want the shiny new airplane you want– that’s okay. Remember, the aircraft will never know you own it. Keep perspective and view the process as another financial transaction.  

    2.  Embrace change  

    Sales calls started on foot, going door-to-door, but now, executives look to private air travel to visit their customers more efficiently. So, just as transportation has changed, our investment strategy should too. Given the current conditions, an aviation business professional can educate you on the evolution of aircraft ownership.   

    3.  Avoid bias 

    Many biases creep in and derail sound financial decisions. For example, success bias occurs when we become emotionally attached to assets that have been successful for us. Avoid bias and rely on professionals who monitor the aircraft market daily to give you the most accurate picture. 

    4.  Work with a third-party aviation expert 

    Hire someone who does not have a stake in your decision to help guide the aircraft purchase from an outside perspective. As mentioned previously, hiring an aviation expert to guide you through the process is critical.

    Final Thoughts 

    Prospective buyers should always work with reputable aviation professionals when purchasing an aircraft. Experts focused exclusively on business aviation are equipped with the latest information to ensure you have a smooth experience throughout the life of the transaction. This is especially important when navigating current market conditions so that you can get flying as soon and as safely as possible.  


    NAFA thanks PNC Aviation Finance and Keith Haye's for his contribution to this article published by NAFA on January 17, 2023.


  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    NAFA Welcomes New Member: CHB Aircraft Financing see more

    NAFA Welcomes New Member: CHB Aircraft Financing  

    National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) is pleased to announce C.H. Brown Co., LLC has recently joined its professional network of aviation lenders. C.H. Brown Co., LLC is a direct lender in the general aviation market.  

    “NAFA members proudly finance, support or enable the financing of general and business aviation aircraft throughout the world, and we are happy to add C.H. Brown Co., LLC to our association,” said Jim Blessing, President of NAFA.  

    About CHB Aircraft Financing:  

    C.H. Brown Co., LLC is a small ticket, broker-centric, commercial-purpose, direct-lender in the general aviation market. CHB Aircraft Financing works directly with aviation clients to secure tailored financing solutions up to $500K. 

    With over 28 years of financing experience, C.H. Brown Co., LLC offers flexible and affordable aircraft financing solutions to help clients achieve their business goals. C.H. Brown Co., LLC understands the complexities of small business financing and provides personal life-of-loan servicing. 

     The CHB Aircraft Financing Program includes: 

    • New and used single- and twin-engine, piston-driven aircraft (including helicopters)
    • Competitive fixed-rate loans amortized for up to 20 years 
    • Refinance for existing aircraft 
    • Loans to businesses operating under FAA Parts 61, 91, 141, and 135 
    • Financing Up to 90% Loan-to-Value 
    • Established businesses, start-ups and private party 
    • Accepts funding referrals from brokers and other lenders 

    C.H. Brown Co., LLC, headquartered in Wheatland in Southeast Wyoming, operates in 49 states (not Louisiana). The C.H. Brown Co., LLC, staff includes licensed FAA pilots with long-term aviation experience.

    “When you call CHB, you will talk to a live Wyoming person who can help you identify solutions, help us be innovative in our operations, and help you with funding your aviation needs,” Kit West, CHB’s Director of Business Development stated.  “We live and work by the ‘Cowboy Code of the West’ to be that foundational, trusted source of funding your clients’ needs in the aviation business.”  


    About NAFA:  

    The National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA) is a professional association that has been promoting the general welfare of aircraft finance for 50 years. Our network of members is comprised of lenders and product service providers who work together to finance general and business aviation aircraft. NAFA sets the standard for best practices in aviation finance by educating its members with the most up-to-date industry trends and best practices. Government legislation, market influences and industry insights allow member companies to provide the highest quality services the industry has to offer. The company now has three offices: Geneva, New York City and Dubai. 

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    The corporate buyer is back – the industry responds to new levels of demand see more

    NAFA member and Jetcraft CEO Chad Anderson discusses the return of corporate buyers in the business aviation market.

    At Jetcraft, our client base tends to be evenly split between Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWIs) and buyers of corporate fleets.

    Naturally, during the pandemic, the level of activity from corporate buyers significantly tailed off, with many businesses establishing policies advising against travel.

    The good news for our industry is that, with the world once again open for business, corporate travel is increasing, and companies are looking to renew their fleets as they restart their travel planning.

    These are market developments that reflect our own optimistic outlook in our recent 5-Year Pre-Owned Business Jet Market Forecast.

    Rising to the challenge

    Corporate fleet planning, in which businesses begin evaluating opportunities to update their aircraft, typically takes place months in advance of aircraft replacement, meaning a dialogue should be constantly ongoing between aircraft suppliers and buyers.

    With these conversations dropping off due to the pandemic, as well as some corporates selling aircraft fleets completely during 2020, there is added pressure on flight departments to act quickly in order to fulfill travel needs.

    UHNWI interest in business aviation is still extremely high and aircraft inventory remains relatively low. This makes it even more important for corporate fleet planners to work with the right company to source fleet replacements and manage their transactions.

    Read full article here

    This article was originally published by Jetcraft on November 7, 2022.



  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    Aircraft Acquisitions– Buyers Need Experienced Professionals to Avoid Potentially Disastrous Results see more

    NAFA member, Stephen Hofer, President, Aerlex Law Group, discusses the importance of using experienced professionals when it comes to aircraft acquisitions.

    People who work in the private aviation industry constantly stress the need for would-be aircraft buyers and sellers to assemble a team of professionals to support them in the purchase or sale of business jet aircraft.  That team includes brokers, attorneys, financial advisors, aircraft managers, technical advisors, lenders, insurers and title and escrow handlers.  What’s critical, however, is that the members of the team actually have experience and expertise in handling private aircraft transactions.  A failure to includes knowledgeable and seasoned pros on your team can have disastrous consequences.

    The attorneys at Aerlex Law Group have handled over 1,000 whole and fractional aircraft acquisitions over the past 17+ years and while we regularly give this advice to potential or new clients, we tend to treat the guidance as pro forma, a given, “why of course, why would you do anything else?”  That being said, I am approached periodically by would-be clients who want Aerlex to help them fix problems that have already erupted – and I am sometimes astounded to learn of mistakes that were made, even when the buyer or seller had legal counsel involved.  What it proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, is that our industry has its own unique methods and protocols and those procedures are in place for a reason.  Here are a couple of examples (names have been omitted and the facts have been changed somewhat to preserve confidentiality).

    Read full article here

    This article was published by Aerlex Law Group on October 19, 2022.

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    Buying a Private Jet? Great! – Now How Are You Going to Crew It? see more

    NAFA member, Stephen Hofer, President of Aerlex Law Group, discusses what you need to know when buying and operating a private jet.

    These are boom times for private aviation. Record sales of both new and pre-owned aircraft. Unprecedented levels of flying in fractional, membership, jet card and charter programs. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some storm clouds looming on the horizon.

    In the United States, would-be buyers who hope to take advantage of the last year of 100% accelerated depreciation are rushing to complete their acquisitions and get their newly acquired airplanes into active business usage before December 31, 2022 are facing unusual challenges. For one thing, most maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facilities and other companies having aircraft inspection capabilities already have fully booked their slots for the remainder of the year. Buyers who are insistent on completing a careful and comprehensive pre-purchase inspection as a pre-condition to accepting their airplanes will find it increasingly difficult to find FAA-certificated aircraft and powerplant (A&P) mechanics who can perform the necessary evaluations and then sign off on a return to service. A similar problem faces buyers who may want to hire independent technical experts to oversee those inspections on the buyers’ behalf. Many tech reps already are fully committed through the end of the year.

    Another problem facing buyers may not prevent them from closing on their purchases, but may have a significant impact on their ability to use their airplanes after they take delivery, both before and after the new year, and that’s the ongoing shortage of qualified pilots to fly those corporate and private aircraft.

    Read full article

    This article was originally published in BusinessAir Magazine, October 2022, Volume 32, No. 10.


  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    NAFA member David G. Mayer discusses the value of due diligence in aircraft transactions. see more

    NAFA member, David G. Mayer, Partner at Shackelford, Bowen, McKinley & Norton, LLP, discusses the value of due diligence in aircraft transactions.

    The value of due diligence exists in the eyes of the beholder. Their place in an aircraft transaction informs their diligence criteria, inquiries, and judgment.

    Most financiers consider the five Cs (character, capacity, capital, collateral, and conditions) and investigate each element before closing a loan or lease. Sellers ensure that they transfer good titles to qualified buyers. Aircraft buyers traditionally perform comprehensive due diligence in all phases of a purchase transaction.

    However, in the current seller’s market, buyers that require excessive or even customary diligence may cause a seller to kill the deal and move on to another buyer waiting in the wings that may not require the same level of diligence. As a result, some buyers sacrifice diligence to buy an airplane, any airplane.

    To initiate due diligence and avoid costly mistakes, buyers should steel themselves; it is hard to be objective, especially for first-time buyers, during the potentially emotional journey of seeing beautiful time machines for sale. Buyers should also engage experienced aviation professionals, including an aircraft broker, technical consultant, aviation counsel, insurance broker, aviation tax expert, escrow company, and FAA counsel.

    Starting when a buyer first seriously considers purchasing an aircraft, the buyer should spool up professionals to guide the buyer through the buying experience, in five diligence areas along with financing.

    Read more

    This article was originally published by AINOnline on November 11, 2022.

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    Private Jet Brokers: What Do They Do & When Do You Need One? see more

    Those new to the world of private aviation may notice that the term “broker” comes up fairly frequently and can be used to describe various roles. In the most general terms, a broker refers to any person or firm that facilitates transactions between two parties. Though this definition is still broadly true for the private aviation industry, there are multiple types of private jet brokers who offer distinct areas of expertise and fill different roles depending on the particulars of the situation.

    In short, the term “broker” can have multiple meanings within the private aviation industry. Therefore, it’s important to understand the distinction between these different types of brokers to ensure that you identify a candidate with the experience, reputation and specialized skills you need.

    In this article, NAFA member Thomas W. Mitchell, Executive Vice President of Essex Aviation will offer insight into the various types of private jet brokers, how to identify which type of broker you might need and what skillset to look for when choosing a broker. We’ll also explain when and why it might make sense to retain the services of a professional private aviation consultant rather than — or perhaps in addition to — a traditional broker.

    Read full article here

    This article was originally published by Essex Aviation on April 26, 2022.

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    Lessons in Strategic Growth see more

    NAFA member, Peter Antonenko, Chief Operating Officer of Jetcraft, discusses strategic growth in business aviation. 

    This year marks Jetcraft’s 60th anniversary, a significant milestone that we’re extremely proud to have achieved. A huge part of Jetcraft’s success to date has been our grit and determination. The journey to 2022 has not been a straightforward one, but we have emerged from the pandemic stronger than ever before and marked a record-breaking year for pre-owned aircraft transactions across the industry.

    As we reflect on our 60-years’ experience, there are several ways in which we believe a business can build strategically and develop a global presence:

    Firstly, ensuring you select the right people is critical, you need to have confidence in your team and trust their abilities. Success in this industry isn’t just about having excellent salespeople but having outstanding individuals who support the organization as a whole. At Jetcraft, our experienced financial, legal, branding and marketing teams are vital to guaranteeing seamless transactions for the benefit of our clients.

    Read full article here.

    This article was originally published by Jetcraft on March 24, 2022.

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    Consultants – Who Needs Them? see more

    NAFA member, David Wyndham, Vice President – Consulting Services, Asset Insight, LLC, discusses the importance of using a consultant in this Asset Insight podcast.

    Subjects covered include:

    • The value brought by a Consultant to the decision-making process.
    • Why a Consultant may be viewed as an “aircraft therapist”.
    • What to consider when selecting a Consultant.
    • Why a Consultant should not be viewed as a decision-maker.
    • How to identify the right Consultant for an assignment.
    • Making sure the Consultant understands your expectations.
    • Compensation strategies when hiring a Consultant.

    This podcast was originally published by AvBuyer Magazine in December 2016.

  • NAFA Administrator posted an article
    Used Aircraft Maintenance & Marketability Analysis – April 2022 see more

    After 21 consecutive monthly decreases, business aircraft inventory increased during April while Ask Prices were nearly one-third higher compared to December. Which models were affected the most? NAFA member and President/CEO of Asset Insight, LLC, Tony Kioussis explores…

    Listings for Asset Insight’s tracked 134-model fleet are still down nearly 18% Year-to-Date (YTD), but the 726 listed aircraft at the end of April represented a 4.0% rise – a monthly increase of 28 units. Total inventory is still nearly 57% lower than the June 2020 peak, but no group posted an availability decrease in April, suggesting aircraft demand and availability may be close to, if not at, equilibrium.

    Asset Insight’s tracked fleet Quality Rating recorded a fourth consecutive monthly improvement in April, thereby setting another 12-month high figure. At 5.347 on the scale of -2.5 (low) to 10 (high), inventory assets moved deeper into the ‘Excellent’ range, signifying fewer near-term maintenance events. The figure also represents about a 1% improvement Year-over-Year (YoY).

    April’s Pre-Owned Aircraft Value Trends

    The Average Ask Price for the tracked models decreased 4.2% during April, but is still 32.9% higher YTD, and 9.4% higher YoY. Actual transaction values for young, low-time aircraft continue to be higher, but that’s to be expected, given that many of these assets are transacting without a ‘for sale’ listing.

    By category, the Ask Price changes for tracked models were as follows…

    • Large Jets: Ask Price posted an amazing 13.6% increase to establish an all-time record high average for the group. That equated to more than a 52% increase YTD and over 69% YoY.
    • Mid-Size Jets: Decreased 1.2%, but remained very close to March’s 12-month high figure. April’s value represented a 63.2% increase YTD, and more than 25% YoY.
    • Light Jets: The group’s Ask Price, was nearly 59% higher YTD, and 39.5% YoY, but decreased 3.7% from March’s 12-month high value.
    • Turboprops: Rose 1% to post a 12-month high figure, an increase of 7.6% YTD and 7.1% YoY.

    Read full report here

    This Asset Insight report was originally published by AvBuyer on May 19, 2022.