October 2, 2020  ·  Peter Antonenko

Acquire an aircraft before the end of 2020

An upsurge in demand for aircraft as we approach the year’s end isn’t unusual. But the dual influences of Covid-19 and the imminent US election have combined to make this year’s fourth quarter unlike any we’ve experienced before. The pace of business is set to skyrocket between now and year end – and with that comes the potential for closing delays beyond December 31.

Prepare now, purchase later

If you want to close in 2020, you need to start your purchase now as pre-purchase inspection slots are already filling up fast.

Many maintenance providers were forced to make changes during lockdown, resulting in modified or reduced staffing levels. Meanwhile, owners are taking advantage of the downtime to complete due or upcoming maintenance. These factors are creating capacity challenges, leaving fewer pre-buy slots and less time to close on an acquisition.

Don’t wait for the election

While the uncertainty of an election always impacts transactions, this year will be especially significant due to the possibility of tax changes. Many buyers have so far benefited from bonus depreciation on their aircraft, and some can also make use of the CARES Act net operating loss carryback scheme. It’s worth speaking with a qualified tax specialist to find out whether you qualify for either.  If you need a referral, we’ll leverage our extensive industry relationships to find someone to help. It’s smart to lock in an acquisition under 2020 tax laws, as a new administration or the ongoing pressures of the current health crisis may cause some of these regulations to change.

If you’re considering waiting until after the result in November, don’t: for a 2020 closing, we recommend being under contract by October 31st at the latest. Despite the restrictions in place over the past few months, Jetcraft was able to execute several transactions in record time: one, an Embraer Legacy 450, was completed in seven days. Another, a Dassault Falcon 900 LX, took just 14 days. While our sales creativity and ability to turn around transactions remains undiminished, these feats become trickier as the pressure on pre-buy inspection slots rises, and the days remaining in 2020 fewer.

Good inventory available

There is a solution to the pre-purchase challenge: Jetcraft has already completed or scheduled pre-buys on our current and inbound owned inventory. This means all of the aircraft currently on, or scheduled to be on, our books are ready for an expedient closing.

Should you purchase from Jetcraft’s inventory, you’ll further benefit from two newly introduced programs: six months’ unscheduled maintenance coverage from JSSI; and an interior treated with MicroShield 360, an antimicrobial coating system which protects against Covid-19 and other pathogens for up to 12 months.

Lock it in for 2020

Young, attractive pre-owned aircraft are in good supply and interest rates remain low. Our lenders remain committed to us and lines of credit are still available for cash deployment. Furthermore, with Jetcraft’s ability to take in trades, buyers can upgrade quickly and avoid a risky crossover period. Just don’t wait too long to do it – or you’ll have to postpone your aircraft purchase until the new year and your competition may get there first. Literally.

Do you know what 2021 holds for us all? Neither do I. But, if you do, please call me – I have a few other questions I hope you can answer. And maybe we can help you acquire an aircraft in the meantime.

Minneapolis, MN, US

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