Andy Blundell, MD of Close Brothers Aviation and Marine
Purchasing an aircraft may not be the type of purchase you would normally associate with banking, but the Aviation and Marine team at Close Brothers Asset Finance has perfected this as a viable lending option.
We are no strangers to supporting the aviation community in the UK and Ireland, having financed the general and business aviation industry for over four decades.
This expertise in aircraft asset financing covers a wide range of aircraft as well as tailored finance options for each client - we can finance a wide range of aircraft, including light piston aircraft, turboprops, helicopters, executive corporate jets and air ambulances. We also finance vintage aircraft and are a strong supporter of historic aviation in the UK and Ireland.
The aircraft are usually registered in the UK, USA, Ireland, Isle of Man or Guernsey, and we can finance brand new aircraft direct from the manufacturer, or pre-owned aircraft that are being sold from dealers, brokers or via private sale.
We can also consider refinancing aircraft that are already owned, to release capital for overhauls, upgrades, rebuilds or other purposes. We can’t, however, finance aircraft operated by major airlines and the Armed Services.
Close Brothers Aviation and Marine has been financing the general and business aviation industry in Britain and Ireland since 1976 and are one of the founding members of the British Business General Aviation Association. We are also members of the British Helicopter Association and the Royal Aeronautical Society.
As a rule, the company typically employs people who have worked directly in the aviation sector or have a specialist aviation finance background, which helps us better understand the needs and requirements of our customers. It’s fair to say that we don’t have a ‘typical’ customer because we work with all types of people, from private owners who have a passion for aviation all the way up to corporate operators with multi-aircraft fleets.
Arranging the financing for the purchase of private aircraft is usually a straightforward process.
The customer has to decide what kind of aircraft they want to buy, and they would normally engage with an aircraft broker to do that. There are specialists out there who will help you find the right aircraft for your requirements and once the customer has decided on the aircraft, we will then arrange a facility with them.
We don’t have a ‘one-size fits all’ approach - we’re very happy to sit down with each of our customers individually and discuss what they are looking for; their cashflow requirements and where the aircraft sits in its maintenance cycle. Financing is usually for between five to seven years and final balloon payments are often available.
Our clients could be a large corporation; an aircraft needed for surveying; a property company that needs to get between sites or it could be purely for leisure purposes. We have people on our team who are happy to chat with clients from all spectrums. The only common denominator is that it flies but apart from that we treat all clients individually.
Deciding how to finance an aircraft is a key component in the ownership process. Any good finance house will work with their clients to understand the key drivers of each transaction.
This is not just marketing speak – because of the nature of general and business aviation, you cannot apply a standard approach to transactions – each deal is unique.
The sheer variety of aircraft available is another factor to consider and a reason why it’s important each opportunity is assessed individually - we have helped customers purchase thousands of aircraft, ranging from small flying club aircraft to mid-sized corporate jets, historic warbird aircraft, two seat private helicopters to large corporate, and air ambulance helicopters.
As well as financing aircraft and helicopters, we are well placed to support other asset finance requirements for the aviation industry. Finance can be provided for a wide range of assets from vehicles to plant and machinery and other invoice and asset-based lending.
For more information on Close Brothers Aviation and Marine visit our Aviation and Marine pages.