Understanding Aircraft Finance​

Tony Kioussis catches up with Jim Blessing, Vice President of Airfleet Capital to discuss how they have been helping aircraft buyers finance their aircraft, the impact of COVID-19, and the typical characteristics of an aircraft loan.

Tony Kioussis  |  05th August 2021
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    Tony Kioussis
    Tony Kioussis

    As President, Asset Insight, LLC, Tony provides valuations, audits, analytics and consulting services,...



    Jim Blessing discusses how Airfleet Capital, a well-respected entity within the aircraft finance community, has been helping aircraft buyers finance their aircraft since 1994, and what differentiates his company’s services within the Business & General Aviation finance community. Areas covered include:

    • The typical characteristics of an aircraft loan. What to expect expect in the market today in searching for financing, especially as it relates to the impact of COVID-19?
    • Financing small business owners who are also pilots: what is unique to financing these individuals and how might the financing process be different?
    • Changes in financing requirements as collateral size increases; moving up from a piston aircraft to a turboprop and then to a light jet.
    • Unique financing considerations should people keep in mind?
    • The differences between financing a business aircraft and a second “fun” airplane.

    About Jim Blessing

    Jim Blessing is the Vice President of Air Fleet Capital, Inc., where he oversees all functions of the company, to include strategic planning, marketing and sales, and he participates regularly with credit evaluation and underwriting. He joined AirFleet in 1999 and has helped participate in its growth from a new entrant in aircraft lending to one of the larger firms in the segment. Prior to AirFleet he was the CFO for an aviation company with a focus on government contracting, a firm that provided logistical support through the Department of Defense and United Nations special programs groups worldwide.

    Jim has worked in the field of aviation for his entire career, receiving his BS in Aviation from Florida Institute of Technology in 1988. He is a Private Pilot, a lifetime member of AOPA, EAA and the Seaplane Pilots’ Association. Jim also serves as current President of the National Aircraft Finance Association. Aviation is in his blood, as he was originally inspired to pursue aviation by his father who served in the USAF, and his wife Cathy is also a pilot with both Instrument and Seaplane ratings.

    AirFleet Capital, Inc.

    AirFleet Capital, Inc. provides aircraft financing with a focus on owner-flown or owner-operator aircraft, ranging in size from piston single through light jets. Founded in 1994, AirFleet is a company completely dedicated to aircraft lending. Our staff includes pilots, flight instructors, prior FBO and flight school owners and prior bank executives. As experienced business lenders AirFleet understands business finance transactions, the nuances of shell-company structuring, and all of the requirements for FAA or International Registry recordation. AirFleet is headquartered in Chandler, AZ, with offices in Virginia and Georgia, and has been helping pilots see the world differently for over 25 years.

    To read the transcript for this podcast, Click here. 

    Read More About: COVID-19

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    Tony Kioussis

    Tony Kioussis

    Editor, Aircraft Value & Maintenance Analysis

    As President, Asset Insight, Tony provides valuations, audits, analytics and consulting services, and a uniform methodology for grading an aircraft’s maintenance condition.

    Asset Insight is owned by JETNET LLC, and has devised a uniform methodology for grading an aircraft’s maintenance condition allowing it to provide timely current and residual aircraft values, projected maintenance costs, and future marketability information.

    Previously Tony worked with GE Capital’s Corporate Aircraft Finance group; Jet Aviation; and JSSI, developing the ‘Tip-to-Tail’ airframe maintenance program.


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