There is a common misperception in the business jet industry that high net worth individuals and corporations mostly pay in cash for large private aircraft. Even if the cash resources are at hand, more often than not the preferred approach is to lease or finance assets of this nature. Why? If a new or pre-owned aircraft is acquired for cash – costing tens of millions of dollars – that’s a lot of capital tied up in an asset that typically depreciates each and every year (unlike real estate, which may go up in value over time). As such, many private aircraft users prefer to take advantage of available third-party capital to finance or lease their acquisition.
Funding the acquisition of a new or pre-owned jet with cash is 100-percent equity financing – equity capital that the individual or corporation could use to make other investments. Many conclude that the investment in their business is probably a better bet than buying into an asset that will likely lost value each year. The decision that many private jet operators reach is that it’s most efficient to use third-party capital to fully or partially fund the acquisition of the private aircraft they wish to use.