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Welcome to Reed Smith's viewpoints — timely commentary from our lawyers on topics relevant to your business and wider industry. Browse to see the latest news and subscribe to receive updates on topics that matter to you, directly to your mailbox.
| 1 minute read

Back to school... and to the sky

Many of us have seen dramatic changes in our working lives over the course of the pandemic, and are now having to grapple with what office life might look like now that vaccines are allowing us to emerge from our homes. Where would we prefer to work from? Home? Or an office? Maybe a mix of both?

Or perhaps from 50,000 feet? Demand for private aircraft is on the rise, fuelled by pandemic travel restrictions, with this article reporting that while some use the aircraft for occasional travel, ‘Others are airborne 400 or 500 hours a year, using it as their office. They see a private jet as a necessity.’ Given the events of the last eighteen months or so, it’s easy to see the appeal of a flying office, but there are a range of ongoing costs to consider that not everyone anticipates when buying an aircraft.

The article gives a useful summary of these costs and the ownership options available, which might be helpful for those considering a more elevated office space this year as we end the summer and head back to ‘school’. We frequently assist clients with the purchase and management arrangements for their private aircraft, and in addition to regular sales and financed purchases, we have recently been engaged in some post-COVID reconfigurations, including helping HNWIs to trade-in existing aircraft and acquire new models more suited to longer or more frequent flights, working on hours reallocation within fractional ownership programmes for corporates, and making personal aircraft available for corporate use (in addition to advising on the EXIM and AFIC-backed financing of a new aircraft). We would be delighted to use this experience to help find a solution that works for you.

Growth in demand for private jets has soared, and the indications are that many former business- and first-class passengers are embracing them. Aviation industry market research company WingX reports that global business aviation activity for the first half of 2021 was up 42 per cent on the same period last year, compared with an upturn of less than 10 per cent for scheduled airlines. Moreover, it is gathering momentum, with record business aviation activity globally in June, up 10 per cent up on the pre-pandemic high point of June 2019. Similarly, FlyEliteJets reported a 150 per cent rise in bookings since the Covid-19 outbreak, despite the disruption from measures such as border closures and quarantine requirements.


transportation, aviation, private jet, asset and equipment finance