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Bring on the Biz Av Experts

In today's global market, there's a great need for experts facilitating international Business Aviation transactions.

Jay Mesinger   |   1st July 2014
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Jay Mesinger Jay Mesinger

Jay Mesinger is the CEO and Founder of Mesinger Jet Sales. With over 40 years’ experience in the...
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It's a Great Big World Out There - Part 2..... 

Having recently attended significant conferences and exhibitions in Asia and Europe- Jay Mesinger reflects on the growing need for subject-matter experts in facilitating Business Aviation transactions throughout the global economy.

News emanating from trade shows in Asia and Europe reflect a growing awareness of Business Aviation as an effective form of transportation for companies and entrepreneurs seeking to capitalize on global opportunities. In general- the aviation community exhibits an optimistic attitude and growing enthusiasm for buying jets and the benefits they provide for companies engaged in international commerce.

Newly designed and certified aircraft were introduced during the Asian Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (ABACE)- held in Shanghai- and at the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE)- held in Geneva. Attendees at each event found the same positive outlook from all sectors of the Business Aviation community- including operators and users of business aircraft- manufacturers of airframes and engines- avionics companies and service providers. All the participants in the broad aviation community felt the rush of a recovery.

The growing enthusiasm for global Business Aviation was apparent in the significant attendance at the EBACE International Transaction Conference that takes place each year the day before the European show opens. Paid attendance for this event has grown by 100% over the last five years- and this year’s program was presented to a full house. I had the pleasure of speaking on the pricing and sales trends taking place globally- a topic that opened the event and dovetailed nicely into the rest of the full day’s topics.

International Complexities Addressed

Presenters consisted of global providers of all types of collateral services needed to construct solutions for international transactions and operations. Each presenter addressed the layers of complexity involved to purchase- operate and sell a business aircraft. For example- it would be desirable if there was one taxing authority globally as well as one regulatory authority globally- but I assure you there is not and I cannot imagine there ever will be.

What does this complexity mean? It means that before anyone reading this article contemplates buying- operating or selling a business aircraft- it is imperative that they build a trusted team to provide expert intelligence related to the transaction.

In the early days of my career when the most I had to consider was working within three time zones and deciding which Flight Standards District Office of the FAA was the correct group to call to get simple registration questions answered- life seemed so simple. Today- I am dealing with all time zones globally- and I need a road map to understand which regulatory authority to contact.

Conferences such as the one where I spoke in Geneva continue to remind me of the high value anyone seriously interested in Business Aviation can gain from these events. While regulatory and tax issues are ever-present and somewhat demanding- we operate in a “people world”. It is knowledgeable people who can guide us through the tax and regulatory morass.

If for a minute you think it is possible to sketch out an operational and tax plan alone or from your office on one side of the world for transactions on the other side of the world- you would be making a serious mistake. The true value of attending international trade events comes from the people we can meet- the intelligence we can gather and the perspectives we can bring home to our local clients.

Watch for international seminars- read publications like this one- keep your eyes and ears open for ways to grow your relationships- and strengthen your resources.

Personal Observation

Of course it is always nice to meet a new client or see a new product- but to me the real value of international forums and seminars are the resources we can amass and the relationships we can cultivate. The line-up of presenters at this year’s EBACE International Transaction Conference included tax lawyers- international registry experts and financing companies that specialize in global operations and registrations. There were experts in the international charter world and international management arena.

Aside from the topic of taxes- these internationally-based attorneys spoke about registration and operational complexities.

One presenter I found particularly topical was an aviation attorney from Russia. I was in the middle of preparing an aircraft for closing that we were purchasing from a Russian seller. The attorney’s presentation reminded me of the critical importance of checking the Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN). This is published by OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control). Given the relevance of the sanctions imposed as a result of the Crimea conflict- a current check of this list could yield information that might have made the sale stumble. Good news- our seller was not on the list so we were not impacted. But this scenario is just another complexity to be understood with today’s scope of international transactions.

Bottom line: Embrace this great big world- enjoy the access- and work as a good neighbor to grow global understanding and acceptance of business aircraft. Stay focused on the importance of Business Aviation and seek the services of knowledgeable professionals who are well versed in the integrities of international transactions and operations.

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